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The Honey Bee

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on 23 July 2014

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Transcript of The Honey Bee

Organism Introduction
Common Name:
Honey Bee

Scientific Name:
Apis mellifera
Reproductive Ecology
bee is the only sexually developed female in the colony. When it is time for the queen to mate she leaves the hive to search for a drone bee from another colony; this prevents incest. Upon transfer of the sperm the drone bee dies immediately. The queen lays about 2,000 eggs per day. She can live up to 3 years (longer than clones and workers)
Foraging Ecology
Within the hive there are three types of honey bees:
Apis mellifera
The Honey Bee
Presentation by
Brian Morris

Area of Residency
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Deciduous Forest Biome
Sam's Honeybee Farm
Sam is a local honeybee hobbyist with four bee hives like the one in this picture.
Why did I choose the Honey Bee?
About a week prior to the beginning of our Introduction to Biology course I was researching the benefits of honey for endurance athletes as an energy source. I was looking to find an inexpensive replacement to the gel packets that I have been using. When this organism presentation was assigned I thought the honey bee would be an ideal choice so that I could learn more about this type of bee and how it creates honey.
1. the queen (female)
2. the drones (male)
3. the worker bees (female)
Only the worker bees leave the hive to forage for nectar, pollen, water and propolis.
How does the honey bee obtain its food?
Worker bees use their keen eyesight & sense of smell to find new flowers. They have a great memory giving the the ability to return to past locations and their "wiggle dance" communicates to the co-worker bees which direction to fly towards to find the scouted flowers.

Bees seek out clovers, dandelions, berry bushes, fruit tree blossoms and flowers. She will visit between 100-1500 flowers to drink her max capacity in nectar (about 70mg) before returning to the hive to deposit her collection.
The worker bees use the enzymes in stomach to break down the complex sugars into simple sugars, which is easier to digest. The processed nectar is deposited into the honeycomb and sealed with wax to allow the water to evaporate leaving behind a thick syrup (the honey).
Life Cycle
Hatching of egg:
3 days
Larva stage:
5 days
Pupa stage:
13 days
Total days to Adult:

21 days
(for female)

24 days
(for male)
Worker Bee Specific Life Cycle
Housekeeping duties:
21 days (feed larva, clean/build hive)
Total days to first
orientation flight:
42 days
(forage for resources)

Total Life Span: 10 weeks
7-8 months
Females only
Decides if a new queen bee is to be born to replace the old
Tends to the larva
Builds/repairs the the hive and honeycomb
Cleans the hive
Forages for nectar, pollen, water and propolis (the glue that holds the hive together)
Has stingers
Makes the honey
Males only
Few in number,
Larger in size
Do NOT have stingers
Leave the hive at 2pm each day to search for a princess bee to mate with
Die immediately after mating
Killed by worker bees in the fall to conserve food during the winter.
open wooded areas
gardens and farms
grasslands / wetlands
(provided there is enough water, food and shelter)
Honey bees prefer to live where there is an abundant supply of flowering plants such as:
Common Manufactured Hive
Honey bees will find any cavity to nest in, but most often build their hives in:
hollow trees
tree branches
small caves
house soffits / walls
manufactured hives
the Honey Bee Hive
Watch this amazing timelaps video of a honey bee hive being created.
Fun Bee Fact
The queen bee stores a
lifetime supply
of sperm from a single mating with a drone bee. If she can live to be 3 years-old and will lay
1,500 - 2,000 eggs each day
. In her lifetime the queen may lay up to
1 million eggs
Fun Bee Fact
Honey is 80% water and 20% sugar. Worker bees can produce a maximum of
1 teaspoon
of honey during her lifetime. In order for a colony to make
two pounds
of this sweetness, all of the foragers will have traveled the equivalent of
3 times around the world
. Over a single year a productive hive can manufacture between
120 to 200 pounds
of honey.
Fun Bee Fact
Honey bees can reach air speeds
up to 15 miles per hour
over short distances. Their wing must flap about
12,000 time per minute
to be able to carry their resources back to the hive. Once a single bee nears
500 total miles
traveled their wings wear out and the bee dies.
Fun Bee Fact
Honey bee colony population can reach 40,000 to 60,000 bees.
queen bee
drones (mating only)
worker bees (female w/ many responsibilities)
bathing the queen
feed the community
guard duty
Other Behaviors
Apis mellifera
contributes over $14 billion to agricultural industry in the United States (directly or indirectly).
honey products
flower pollinating
Albert Einstein said it best...

"If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man will have no more than four years left to live."
Fun Bee Fact
If you have ever played the game
"7 Ways to Kevin Bacon"
then you will understand
"7 Ways to the Honey Bee"
. Every living organism on Earth is tied to this hard working species. We must preserve the bee or we will suffer the same fate as China who used too many chemicals and eradicated the bee population in many areas. Now they are pollinating their flowers by hand.
photo provided by Pollinator.org
Photo provided by Extension.org
Photo provided by Honey Stinger
Photo provided by Minnesota DNR
Photo provided by Guaranteed Bee Removal
Photo provided by West Palm Beach Pest Control
Photo provided by The University of Georgia College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
Photo provided by ECO Honey Bees.com
Photo provided by Biddy Farm
Photo provided by Getting Buzzing About Bees
Hamdan, K. (2000). Clemson University Cooperative Extension. Life Cycle of a Bee.
Retrieved June 19th, 2014 from https://www.clemson.edu/extension/county/oconee/programs/beekeeping/Honey_Bee_Life_Cycles_in_Pictures.pdf.

Imhoof, M. (2012). More Than Honey [Motion Picture]. Germany.

Tree of Life Web Project (2014).
Explore the tree of life
. Retrieved June 19, 2014 from

Utah County Beekeepers Association (n.d.). Fun Facts. Retrieved on July 15th, 2014 from www.utahcountybekeepers.org.

YouTube. (2011). High speed summary of Life inside the Beehive. Retrieved on July 17th, 2014 from www.youtube.com.

YouTube. (2009). How Bees Make Honey. Retrieved on July 17th, 2014 from www.youtube.com.
from Utah County Beekeepers Association (n.d.)
from Utah County Beekeepers Association (n.d.)
from Utah County Beekeepers Association (n.d.)
from Utah County Beekeepers Association (n.d.)
Hamdan, K. (2000)
(Imhoof, M., 2012).
(YouTube, 2011)
(YouTube, 2009)
Photos provided by HowStuffWorks.com
Scientific Classification
Tree of Life Web Project (2014)
Full transcript