Honey bee

Honey bee
The honey bee is the type of insect in the genus of arthropods. The main characteristic of all bees is that they collect pollen, as a source of protein and flower nectar as a source of carbohydrates. There are around 20000 species of bees on the Earth, widespread all over the world except for Antarctic. Their size varies from 2mm to 4cm. They are predominantly black and gray in color. According to their life style bees are basically divided into solitary and social bees. Solitary bees live a lonely life. Every female makes its own nest in the ground where it builds earth chambers for laying of eggs and rearing larvae. Social bees are bees that live a social life, and in this case a single bee cannot survive outside the bee colony. There are several hundred types of social bees, which build complex, highly organized colonies. There is a clear division of roles in the colony, depending on bee’s gender and age. Thus, there are bees that protect the colony, collect food, breed, clean, maintain the temperature of the beehive etc. The division into solitary and social bees is not so sharp, since there are bees which live as solitary bees, except that more females share the same nest. Some live in smaller colonies (2 to 7 bees), some build temporary colonies which perish in the autumn and only the fertilized female survives the winter (an example is a bumblebee). The most important are honey bees, with its best known species the European-African honey bee, which is bred all over the world. The honey bee is a social insect, whose colony consists of: the queen bee (1), workers (from 25 to 150 000 bees) and drones (a few hundred). Bees have their closer and distant relatives. The first bees lived a solitary life, that is, every female collected food for herself and her brood, and this is the way in which less developed species live nowadays. However, the modern honey bee has developed as a social animal and lives in large colonies. The homeland of our honey bee has not been exactly established yet, since the traces of prehistoric life of bees are scarce. Some scientists think that the homeland of the honey bee is India, whereas others claim that it is the Central Europe. However, petrified bees of the most ancient shapes have been found so far only in Germany, France and former Czechoslovakia. According to their distribution the honey bee presence is divided in three areas: - the first area includes Europe, Africa and Asia without its southern and eastern parts, - the second includes the Southern and Eastern Asia, i.e. India, China and Japan, - the third includes the whole American continent and Australia (in North America bees were brought at the beginning of the 17th century, and in the South America and Australia at the beginning of the 18th century). In different climates different species of the honey bee have developed. They differ from one another in color and behavior. Taking into account these characteristics we discern several species of the honey bee. All the species of the honey bee can be divided into two groups: 1. Black or brown bees 2. Yellow bees The first group includes the Kranj bee, Caucasian, North African, West African, and the Madagascar bee. The second group includes Italian, yellow Caucasian, Greek, Syrian, Palestinian, Egyptian and Saharan bee. Black or brown bees live mostly in northern and central parts of Europe and on the Balkans, while yellow occupy southern parts of Europe and the central part of the Balkan Peninsula.

see all articles