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Bee Populations in Decline

There is evidence that, globally, bees and other pollinator populations are less healthy and abundant than they have been in the past. They are being exposed today to new bee diseases and pests. In addition, their habitat is shrinking and, due in part to climate change, the conditions for their survival and development are steadily worsening.

Think what would happen if there were no bees! Who would provide the service of pollination? Is manual pollination our future?

Thus each action aimed at protecting the health of bees and other pollinators is important not only for them but also for humankind.

“Bees Caring for Humankind. Humankind Caring for Bees?”

 

Bees

More than 20,000 species provide pollination service, but honey bees, i.e. those widely used for commercial honey production, are perhaps the most charismatic representatives of them. They are distinguished by the fact that they are the least picky in their choice of flowers.

Honey bees are social insects that live in colonies, each consisting of:

  • the queen, whose main activity is egg-laying, up to 2,000/day,
  • 20,000–80,000 workers, all of which are females and
  • 300–1,000 males (drones), whose sole responsibility is fertilization.

The queen will normally live for between 1 and 4 years, while a worker bee will live for 6–8 weeks in the summer and 4–6 months in the winter.

 

Did you know…?

Without a queen, the colony will eventually die.

The workers perform a multitude of tasks, including tending to the queen, feeding larvae, feeding drones, nectar ripening, producing heat, collecting water, beehive -cleaning, guard duty, and field collection of pollen and nectar. A single honey bee may collect 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

The drones would die of starvation if the workers stopped feeding them.

Bees have personalities! Despite the phrase “busy as a bee”, even within a colony there will be workers and shirkers!

Honey bees’ wings beat 11,400 times per minute, this making their distinctive buzz.

Bees can recognise human faces.

 

Bee Homes

Bees live in almost all parts of the world: in tropical forests, savannah woodlands, mangroves, and temperate deciduous forests.

Contrary to popular assumption, the great majority of bee nests are in the ground rather than in hives.

In nature, beehives are naturally occurring structures that are occupied to protect the honeybee colonies, while domesticated honeybees live in man-made beehives, often in an apiary.

Beehives are often found on farms, in forests and gardens, on balconies and even on high-rise rooftops.

 

Did you know…?

Bees are nature’s most economical builders – honeycombs are among the most efficient structures in nature; their walls meet at a precise 120-degree angle, making a perfect hexagon.

Bees fly outside the hive normally when temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

Honey bees do not hibernate, but cluster for warmth. They remain active all winter.

A full moon in June is called a “Honey Moon”.



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