Bees are extremely complex and interesting creatures. They are also very important, because bees fill the role as one of the most common pollinators. I hope to add more segments on bees in the future because there are more than 20,000 known species! But for this post I’ll share some of the facts about bees that I find most interesting, however because there are so many different species there are exceptions.
Some bees, like honey bees, live together in big colonies. Sometimes a beehive is referred to as a superorganism because they all work together. There are many different roles within the community. The Queen Bee is the only fertile female. She travels outside of her own hive to mate with several males and collects the sperm in something called her spermotheca. Then when she lays eggs she chooses which ones to fertilize. The unfertilized eggs become the male bees, also known as drones. All males are haploid and their main purpose is to mate. They actually don’t have stingers or collect pollen and nectar. The fertilized eggs become female bees, known as worker bees. They make up the huge majority of the hive and have differing roles dependent on their age. They feed the larvae (babies), gather pollen and nectar, protect the queen, hive thermoregulation, and constructing new hives. The worker bees are the ones with stingers, but they only use them as a defensive mechanism because when they sting, the stinger detaches and kills the bee. Humans have found a few ways to benefit from the hard work of these bees in the form of honey and wax.
I hope you all enjoyed these facts as much as I do!