The Truth about Bees


via Flickr

Bees in a hive

Many know bees for only their honey, but in reality, bees are responsible for many different foods that people enjoy. Also, many think there are only 1 or 2 kinds of bees, most commonly the honey bee, but there are many other bee species. Bees have two antennae, a stinger, and a black and yellow stripe pattern, but some bees look different from others and have their own unique looks and habits. There are three commonly known bees which are the bumble bee, honey bee, and killer bee. Bees also play a major part in the economy but they are going extinct so many governments are trying to save the bees.

The most common bee, the honey bee, is the world’s main source of honey and one of its main pollinators. Honey bees are about 15mm long and are golden yellow with light brown stripes. Honey bees are mainly social bees and there are nine jobs in the hive that the bees are given. Beehives are made out of beeswax which is secreted from a worker bee’s glands and is chewed up before sticking to the rest of the hive.  During winter, honey bees do not hibernate, unlike other species. Instead, they come together in the hive in a big pile to share body heat and food. Bees can become queens by eating large amounts of royal jelly as a larva. Royal jelly is made from a worker bee’s glands.

The next type of bee is the bumblebee. Bumblebees are covered in fuzzy hairs and are much larger than normal bees. Bumblebees have short and stubby wings and they are bigger than honey bees but they create much less honey. Some say that bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly as they have large bodies and small wings. However, it was discovered that instead of flapping their wings up and down, they do it forward and backward. Bumblebees are mostly similar to honey bees but they build their nests very close to the ground or even in the ground. When winter rolls around, only the queen hibernates while the rest of the bumblebees freeze to death and during spring, she wakes up and starts a new colony.

The  Africanized bee, also known as the Killer Bee is a well-known pest and danger to humans. The killer bee is well known for its ability to be easily agitated and its aggressiveness and if a person dares to disturb their hive, they can chase them for around a quarter of a mile. The killer bee is almost indiscernible from a honey bee, except slightly smaller. Killer bees have relatively small colonies so they can create nests in the strangest of places. If people who have many killer bees in their area they should be on the alert as unsuspecting people might get attacked. The killer bee’s sting is no more deadly than a honey bee’s sting but they do attack in larger numbers so people should stay away.

To the economy, many only think of bees for their honey but they serve a much greater purpose which is, of course, pollination. When people buy their favorite fruits or vegetables at the supermarket, they don’t think of how the food was created and if they did, their first thought would probably not be bees. Without bees, almost all fruits and vegetables would die off and many will want bees to be alive once they find out that they wouldn’t have coffee without bees. The main reason for bees going extinct is something called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD causes bees to lose direction and not be able to find their way back to the hive. It is guessed that CCD is caused by pesticides and farmers are majorly discouraged to use pesticides when bees come out.

That is how people can discern bees from each other, how bees affect the economy, and how they are dying. There are many types of bees other than the typical honey bee and they all have something special to contribute to nature. Also, bees play a major role in the economy and if we don’t save them, we will lose almost all of our fruits and vegetables. Overall, bees are one of the most important insect species out there and the world shouldn’t let them die out.