Honey bees – Natural History 2



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Bees are called social insects because they live and work together as a community. Thousands of female bees, called worker bees, live together in a hive with a queen bee. The queen bee is marked with a red dot so we can see her better.
The worker bees are all females, but they almost never lay eggs. Worker bees do almost all the chores in the hive. They gather pollen or nectar, guard the entrance, clean the hive, build the comb, make honey, tend the queen, and feed the larvae. They even fan the hive with their wings to keep it cool on a hot summer day.
The queen bee is larger than the worker bees. She lays about a thousand eggs each day! Watch the worker bees attending to the queen bee and feeding her. The worker bees touch and lick her as they tend to her needs. They get a substance from the queen that they carry around the hive, and when they touch and lick other bees, this substance, or pheromone, tells them that the queen bee is alive and well. Then all the worker bees keep doing their jobs. The queen bee walks from cell to cell to lay a small white egg in each one. She lays all the eggs.
Inside the cells, the eggs hatch into larvae or grubs. The workers take care of all the larvae, which include several queen bee larvae. The worker bees take pollen mixed with honey to feed them.
The larvae eat a lot, but the pupae do not eat at all. When the larvae are ready to turn into pupae, the worker bees close off the cell with wax. Inside, the grubs pupate and metamorphose into bees in about 12 days. Pupae use the stored up fat and tissue from the larval stage to metamorphose into adult bees.
Honey bees undergo a complete metamorphosis.
After the pupae have changed into adult bees, they chew their way out of the cells and start working! Watch the young bee crawl out of the cell!
The cells are also used for storing nectar and pollen. Honey is made inside cells. Adult bees also rest in them.
If a female larva is fed special food called royal jelly, she becomes a queen bee. If not, she becomes a worker bee.
A new queen goes on her nuptial, or wedding flight, a flight to mate with drones.
Only a few drones, or male bees, live in each hive. Thousands of drones from many bee colonies gather in one place. Queens fly there, too. The drones mate with a queen bee. After the young queen has mated, she heads to the colony where she was raised and becomes the new queen.
The old queen and approximately half of the workers leave the hive as a swarm, to find a new nest site. Find science explorations and other good stuff for kids, parents, and teachers here: http://totallybuggin.com/ and here https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Backyard-Bugs/512628555476588 Copyright 2013 KinderMagic.com


Post time: Oct-10-2017
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