Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

Honey Bee, Apis mellifera All honeybees are social and cooperative insects. A hive's inhabitants are generally divided into three types.

Workers are the only bees that most people ever see. These bees are females that are not sexually developed. Workers forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean, circulate air by beating their wings, and perform many other societal functions.

The queen's job is simple—laying the eggs that will spawn the hive's next generation of bees. There is usually only a single queen in a hive. If the queen dies, workers will create a new queen by feeding one of the worker females a special diet of a food called "royal jelly." This elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen.

Male bees are called drones—the third class of honeybee. Several hundred drones live in each hive during the spring and summer, but they are expelled for the winter months when the hive goes into a lean survival mode.

Bees live on stored honey and pollen all winter, and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth.

Habitat: Woodland, gardens and orchards
Development: Complete metamorphosis
Food: Herbivore
Flight Period: Spring - Fall
Description: Orange and brown-colored, rather hairy. The abdomen is black with orange transverse stripes of varying width.
Length: 0.47 to 0.79 inches
Wingspan: 1 inch

Read More !

Honey Bee Breeds and Their Features
How Do Honey Bees Find Pollen and Nectar
Honey Bee Communication: Pheromones
XXX-Rated: Honey Bee Sex
Honeydew Honey – A Strong, Dark Honey

Further Information:   

Wisconsin Bee Identification Guide
Spring Wild Bees of Wisconsin
Bumble Bees of Wisconsin
Wild Native Bee Nest Boxes
Wisconsin Honey Producers Assn

Benefits of Pollen to Bees

The bee's basic nutritional requirements are similar to those of humans; they need proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats/lipids, vitamins, and water. Learn More!

Bee Quiz

Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about bees—our favorite essential pollinators working around the world. This quiz is intended for fun, in a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.

Spring Pollinator Plants

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