Bees and their general characteristics

Bees are hairy-bodied, stinging creatures that originate from the Apoidea super family. One of their main attributes includes sucking and chewing mouth parts in order to gather nectar and pollen. Bees typically rely on pollen as a protein source and also need nectar or oils as an energy source as well. Females, especially adults collect pollen frequently to feed to their young (larvae). The pollen bees ultimately lose from flying from flower to flower, is very crucial to plants because some pollen lands eventually lands on the pistils of other flowers of the same species, thus resulting in cross-pollination.

bee2According to everythingabout.net’s website, it states that “bees are, in fact, the most important pollinating insects, and their interdependence with plants makes them an excellent example of the type of symbiosis known as mutualism, an association between unlike organisms that is beneficial to both parties.”

What makes bees unique are their feathery and branched hairs that help in the collection of pollen. Female bees, in particular, have strong and powerful defensive stings. There are some bees that like to produce honey from flower nectar. Other types such as honey and sting-less bees, contain big quantities of honey that are usually exploited by beekeepers. As a result, the beekeepers then harvest the honey and use it for human consumption.

Where Bees Come From and How Many are There

There are approximately 20,000 species of bees worldwide. Some bee species have not been identified yet and others aren’t named or haven’t been studied closely just yet. Bees can be found anywhere, except in high altitudes, some polar regions and even on some small islands. They all range in size from 2mm (0.08 inches) in length up to 4cm (1.6 inches) long. Many bees are either black or gray, but there are others that are yellow, blue, red or metallic green.

Bees Social Structure and Nesting Rituals

Solitary Bees

Primitive bees just like the wasps (their relatives), are considered solitary. Each adult female makes her own nest or burrow and creates soil nestshi┬áto help protect her young. She then deposits the pollen into individual cells until just enough food has accumulated to provide for the infant bee from hatching… till it reaches full grown size of course. After that, the female lays the egg on the pollen mass and closes the seal up before going on to create another cell.