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Picture of a Horse

1: Gena, 2: Vertex, 3: Ocelli, 4: Antenna, 5: Compound Eye, 6: Feelers, 7: Proboscis, 8: Foreleg, 9: Femur, 10: Middle Leg, 11: Tarsal Claw, 12: Tarsus, 13: Tibia, 14: Hind Leg, 15: Sternum, 16: Sting, 17: Hind Wing, 18: Forewing


Bees are insects that produce honey and beeswax and feed on nectar and pollen. There are about 20,000 different species of bees. They can be found on every continent besides Antarctica. A hive is home to a single female queen bee, a number of male drone bees, and 20,000 to 40,000 female worker bees. Worker bees live for about four weeks in the spring and summer, and up to six weeks during the winter. A queen bee can live up to five years. She is capable of laying about 1000 eggs each day and 200,000 eggs in a year. When drones mate, they die afterwards from a ruptured abdomen.


Beeswax is created by worker bees and is secreted from mirror glands on their abdomens. Beeswax is used to make honeycomb cells, where honey and pollen are stored and young bees are raised. Honeycomb is composed of a double layer of thin-walled hexagonal cells used for storage. It is made of beeswax and propolis. Propolis is created from resinous material from buds of trees and is used in sealing cracks in the hive. Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation. Bees are able to see ultraviolet wavelengths of light, a skill which helps them locate nectar. They also use polarised light for direction finding on partly cloudy days.


Honeybees collect water, which they use as a coolant to regulate the temperature of the hive. They also beat their wings to circulate air in the hive and regulate temperature, which is maintained between 35 and 36C. A colony can survive maximum temperatures of 49C, if water is available. Below about 14C, the bees cluster together inside the hive to conserve heat and wait for warmer temperatures. They can survive in temperatures as low as -46C for several weeks.


Megapis is a species of bees that build their combs on cliffs and high trees. When provoked or robbed of their honey, colonies of them are capable to stinging humans to death. It is estimated that 1100 honey bee stings are required to be fatal.

The term "honeymoon" is derived from an old northern European custom in which newlyweds would consume a daily cup of mead for a month. Mead is made of fermented honey.


Cave paintings in Valencia, Spain depict human figures collecting honey, evidence that honey hunting began at least 8,000 years ago. Honey was used as a sweetener in Ancient Egypt, as well as a means of embalming the dead. Honey is considered one of the five elixirs of immortality in Hinduism. Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot. The word comes from the English ¨hunig.¨ Honey was the first and most widespread sweetener used by man.


Honey can be collected from domesticated beehives or from wild bee colonies. A honeyguide bird can be used as an aid in locating wild bee nests. A beekeeper often uses a bee smoker to calm the bees so that the honeycomb can be removed from the hive. The top producer of natural honey in 2012 was China, followed by Turkey and Ukraine.


The honeybee's wings stroke 11,400 times per minute. It can fly up to six miles and as fast as 15 miles per hour. A honey bee collects from between 50 to 100 flowers per trip. The average honey bee will make one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. To make one pound of honey, workers in a hive fly 55,000 miles and tap two million flowers.


Beeswax has a variety of uses, including in the production of food, pharmaceuticals, candles, and cosmetics. It is used as a coating for cheese and as a food additive. It is an ingredient in hair pomades, shoe polish, and lip balm.

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