• Dark Honey Bee Insects

    Bees Insects

    Most people have seen honey-bees searching flowers...

  • Bee Insects Are Gazing

    Bees Insects

    Most people have seen honey-bees searching flowers...

  • Bee Insects Running

    Bees Insects

    Most people have seen honey-bees searching flowers...

  • Dark Honey Bees Insects
  • Bee Insects Are Gazing
  • Bee Insects Running

Most people have seen honey-bees searching flowers for nectar and pollen. Honey-bees, and their close relatives, the humble bees, like ants and termites, live in family groups. Each hive or nest is the home of a large number of bees and their mother, the queen bees. The grubs that hatch from the eggs she lays are tended by worker bees. These are females whose sex organs are not developed and so they cannot lay eggs. A small number of the bees in a hive are males, or drones. These do not help the make stores of pollen and honey, or look after the grubs. Their job is to mate with young queen bees. After this the drones die. The queens survive to be mothers of new huge families in other nests. Worker bees also have short lives, dying at about six weeks. Some workers survive the winter, and these live for several months. The queen bee can survive for up to five years, so the honey-bees nest is quite long lived. Bumble-bee queens do not live so long, dying, with the rest of their family, at the end of the summer. Only the young bumble-bee queens which have mated, survive the winter. It is a sure sign of spring when you see the new queen humble-bees looking for suitable spots of their nests.

Honey Bee

Bees make honey from nectar, which they suck from flowers. They can do this because their jaws from a tube, like a built-in drinking straw. As a bee searches for nectar, pollen from the flowers gets suck on her hairy coat. She combs this off and presses it into her pollen baskets which are on her hind legs. The pollen is used to feed the grubs for most of their lives. As well as honey-bees and bumble-bees, there are many species of solitary bees. In these species, the females lay their eggs in tiny nests which they stock with food. They die before the grubs hatch.

Wasps

Wasps are insects with yellow and black stripes. These bright colors act as a warning that the wasp can protect itself with a sting. Many wasps live in family groups which are all the offspring of one female, called the queen. These are called social wasps. Their nests are formed of a kind of paper. The wasps make this by chewing up dead wood and mixing it with their saliva. The cells of the wasps nest are hexagonal and the nest is formed in a series of floors, connected to each other by paper pillars. The grubs living in the nest are fed on the flesh of other animals, particularly insects. Early in a summer, when many grubs are being reared, wasps are very useful animals, as they kill many pests for food. The adults themselves need sugars for energy and feed only on nectar, fruit and tree sap. Most adults are sterile female workers but by last summer fully sexed males and females have been produced. These breed, and then the whole colony, which might number 50,000 wasps, dies with the arrival of cold weather. Only the young mated queens survive in hibernation, to emerge next spring.

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