Each bee hive has only one Queen bee. Her job is to lay eggs. During the spring, she can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day. Most of these eggs are Worker bees and are female. The hive has thousands of Worker bees.
One of the Worker bees most important jobs is to make honey for the hive. In her lifetime, a Worker bee makes only 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey.
The Nurse bees tend the larvae until they emerge from their cells. The bees work together to transform the nectar brought back to the hive into honey. The moisture is evaporated out of the nectar to make the thick honey that is stored in the honeycomb.
The Worker bees perform all the jobs of the hive during their lifetime. All the bees get "clean up duty" before they learn to collect nectar and pollen.
The Scout bees look for nectar and pollen sources. As the bees fly from flower to flower, their wings beat up to 11,400 times per minute producing the familiar buzz we hear. A bee flies between 15 and 22 miles per hour and visits 50-100 flowers during one trip.
Honey bees gather nectar from flowers. In the process, they pollinate the plant. It takes about 2 million flowers and involves flight equal to as much as seven million miles (300 times around the earth) to make one pound of honey!
The Messenger bee alerts the hive of impending danger. Worker bees protect the hive from intruders with a painful sting. The sting releases a scent which alerts other bees to come to her aid and sting as well. A bee can sting only once, then she dies.
|Bees Make Wax, Too|
Bees secrete a wax to make their "honey comb." The comb is made of hexagonal (six-sided) cells which the bees use to store the honey and pollen. The queen lays her eggs in these wax cells also.
The Drone is a male bee. He does not perform any duties in the hive except to fertilize the Queen bee during mating season. At the end of the season, most of the Drones are kicked out of the hive to conserve food stores over the winter.
Many crops depend on the honeybee for pollination. Look at the map to see which plants honeybees visit in your state.