Bees not only produce honey and wax, they also provide an important service to farmers. Many crops require bees to pollinate them. they gather sweet liquid called nectar from flowers. As they do this, the reproductive material of the flowers, pollen, sticks to the bee. Pollen travels from plant to plant this way.
Many different fruits, vegetables, nuts and seed crops depend on bees for reproduction. Even crops that do not require bee pollination can be increased with their help. Also, the quality of many crops depends on the amount of pollination they receive. Crops like apples can grow unevenly if bees do not provide enough pollen for good reproduction.
Pollinated crops supply much of the vegetable fats in the human diet. As much as one-third of all food products are directly or indirectly linked to bee-pollinated crops. Bee pollination is a central activity in the food supply chain.
Many beekeepers see pollination as a more important activity than producing honey. Many farmers see bee pollination as a good investment because it improves the quality and productivity of their crops.
There are about 20,000 different species of bees in the world. They live in colonies and there are three types of bees in each colony. The queen, the worker and the drone.
Bumblebees are considered to be beneficial insects because they pollinate crops and plants. They are very social bees and live in large “families”. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees can sting more than once because their stingers are smooth and do not get caught in the skin when they fly away.
Carpenter bees are solitary bees. They build nests just for themselves and only feed their own young. They get their name from their ability to drill through wood. Carpenter bee stingers are not barbed, so they are able to sting over and over again.
Honeybees live in large “families” and are found all over the world. The honeybee is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years. That is because they huddle together and eat honey to keep themselves alive during the winter months.
The Africanized Honeybee, also known as the “killer bee” lives in South America and the Western and Southern United States. They have been known to chase people for over a quarter of a mile once they get excited and aggressive.
Even though they are called “Killer” bees, their venom is no more dangerous than regular honeybees. Their attacks are more harmful because they tend to attack in greater numbers, increasing your chance of having a severe allergic reaction to the venom released when they sting you.
About the Author
Article by Eslam El Aksher. Translator at Benha University, Egypt http://www.bu.edu.eg