The best known honey bee is the Western Honey Bee which has been domesticated for honey production and crop pollination.
Besides being a vital part of the worlds CROP POLLINATION bees also produce a fine clean sootless WAX that people have valued for candles and soap making as well as lip balms, and other crafts.
Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the roughly 20,000 known species of bees. The study of bees is known as MELITTOLOGY.
Bees “TALK” to each other by DANCING in patterns! They do a waggle dance which tells other bees such things as DIRECTION and DISTANCE to flowers and water!
For example if a bees dance includes vertical moves the direction to fly or flight target is directly towards the Sun. Variations of the dance like a wiggle waggle pertain to an off sun angle to fly and how far to go! The duration of the wiggle-waggle part of the dance signifies the distance to fly. 1 second dance tells other bees there is food, flowers, water, 1 kilometer away! Other parts of the waggle dance communicate additional information such as quality and quantity!
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Why Mānuka Honey Is So Expensive
Mānuka honey known for being is earthier, richer, and more viscous than many other honeys. It comes from the nectar of the flower of Leptospermum scoparium — also known as Manuka, which is only native to New Zealand. Mānuka, in fact, is a Maori word. “The plant itself is very rare. It’s difficult to harvest because the flower is only open for 12 days, and sometimes we have to use helicopters to collect this honey.” John Rawcliffe from the Mānuka Factor Honey Association told Business Insider. Although mānuka bushes can also be found in Australia, New Zealand accounts for almost all the world’s production, with exports worth 300 million NZ dollars ($204m) and expected to rise to 1.2 billion NZ ($800m) by 2028.
Life Cycle of The Honey Bee Queen
From One Queen To The Next, The Ten Stages A Queen Honey Bee Experiences The making of a new queen bee after the death of the old one is particularly critical to be done quickly as the existing eggs must be less than three days old in order for them to do what’s necessary to make it into a queen bee.
1: Bees construct up to 20 wax queen cells. 2: Current queen lays fertilized eggs in each queen cell (or in the case of the death of the queen, some existing eggs under three days old will be converted to queen cells by the method in the following step). 3: Young nurse bees feed the young queen larvae with a special rich creamy food called Royal Jelly and extend the cell downwards until it is about 25mm in length. 4: About nine days after laying, the first queen cell is sealed with a layer of wax.
5: Assuming a new queen is being made because of an overpopulation within the hive, a large swarm, called the prime swarm, of bees leaves the hive, led by the older bees. The old queen gets starved so she is thinner and able to fly with the swarm and they go off scouting for a new place to create a colony. During their trip, the swarm will take frequent breaks to send out scouts to go search on their own. The scouts report back and from this information, they choose the best spot to go next until they finally settle on an optimal location.
6: Back in the hive, about a week later, the first of the new queens will leave her cell. The new queen will then either choose to locate and kill her sister potential queens by stinging them through the wax wall of their cells. Or she will take a small swarm and go start a new hive somewhere, particularly if the hive is still somewhat crowded. If she leaves, then the next to emerge from her cell will make the same decision. Eventually one will decide to stay. 7: Young queen flies around and orients herself to her new surroundings.
8: The queen will take several mating flights and will mate with up to 20 male bees called drones; the drones will die after mating. 9: A few days later, the mated queen will begin to lay fertilized eggs at a rate of about 2000 per day. Fertilized eggs become female worker bees. Unfertilized eggs get fertilized by male drones and become new drones. At any given time in a healthy hive, there is 1 queen bee, up to 40,000 or so female worker bees, and a few hundred male drones.
10: This queen will stay with the colony for at least a year until a large enough swarm is available to go start a new colony somewhere else. Though the worker bees only live 40 or so days and drone bees die in mating or are evicted from the hive in the autumn to conserve food as they do no actual work, the queen bee can live up to 5 years.