European honeybee

European honeybee

Honeybees produce a sweet and nutritious substance, honey.

Biology

Keywords

bee, womb, state-forming insects, beekeeping, hive, worker, queen, testicle, honey, nectar, pollen, ontogeny, egg, pupa, larva, complete metamorphosis, chewing and sucking mouthparts, honey stomach, sting, thorax, abdomen, comb cell, beeswax, agriculture, livestock, blooming, beekeeper, insects, insect, animal, arthropod, biology

Related items

Scenes

European honeybee

  • queen
  • worker bee
  • drone

Honey bees are insects that form colonies. The head of a honeybee colony is the queen. Its abdomen is enlarged, due to the continuous production of eggs.

The eggs laid by the queen are fertilised by male bees, or drones, that mate with the queen. The abdomen of drones is stout, which makes it easy to differentiate them from workers. Drones do not have stings.

Worker bees take care of the brood, collect nectar, and use their stings to protect the hive. After stinging, the sting and the venom bulb of the bee is ripped out of the bee's body, which subsequently dies, that is, it sacrifices itself for its hive. The venom bulb continues to pump venom into the victim.

Queen

  • head
  • thorax
  • abdomen - On the queen it is enlarged, due to the continuous production of eggs.
  • chewing and sucking mouth parts - It is used for sucking up liquid food. Queens (both adults and larvae) feed on royal jelly, produced by the workers. It is due to this special diet that the female larva becomes a queen bee and not a worker. Royal jelly is produced by the glands of worker bees.
  • compound eye - It consists of thousands of individual photoreceptor units or ommatidia. The colour vision of bees is excellent, their eyes can also perceive ultraviolet radiation.
  • membrane wing - The two pairs of this wings of queen bees are relatively smaller than those of workers and drones: they extend until the middle of the abdomen. Young, virgin queens swarm out with drones and mate with them. The sperm is stored throughout their lives and used for fertilising eggs.
  • sting - Young, virgin queens fight and try to kill their rivals with their stings. Only one queen remains in a hive, who will mate with the drones. Queens - but not workers - can retract their stings and use them several times.
  • foot
  • antenna - Chemical and mechanical sensory organ. Insects have one pair of these.

Worker

  • head
  • thorax
  • abdomen
  • chewing and sucking mouth parts - It is used for sucking up nectar, which is a sugar-rich liquid, produced in glands called nectaries within the flowers. The nectar is sucked up into the honey stomach of the worker bees where the process of honey making is started.
  • compound eye - It consists of thousands of individual photoreceptor units or ommatidia. The colour vision of bees is excellent, their eyes can even perceive ultraviolet radiation. The excellent vision helps insects in recognising flowers they look for to collect nectar.
  • membrane wing
  • sting - The worker stings the animal threatening its hive and releases a venom into its body. Worker bees have barbed stings, they usually cannot remove it from the victim's body. The sting and the venom bulb is ripped out of the bee's body, which subsequently dies, that is, it sacrifices itself for its hive. The venom bulb continues to pump venom into the victim.
  • foot - Insects have three pairs of walking legs. Worker bees collect pollen in the 'pouch' located on the last pair of their legs. Larvae are fed a mixture of pollen and honey.
  • antenna - Chemical and mechanical sensory organ. Insects have one pair of these.

Drone

  • head
  • thorax
  • abdomen - On drones it is plump, which makes it easy to differentiate them from workers. Drones do not have stings.
  • chewing and sucking mouth parts - It is used for sucking up liquid food. Drones feed on honey produced by the workers.
  • compound eye - It consists of thousands of individual photoreceptor units or ommatidia. The colour vision of bees is excellent, their eyes can even perceive ultraviolet radiation. Drones are easy to distinguish from workers by their relatively large eyes.
  • membrane wing
  • foot
  • antenna - Chemical and mechanical sensory organ. Insects have one pair of these.

Beehive

  • beehive
  • comb frame
  • honey - It is made by worker bees from the nectar of flowers. It serves as food for the bees.
  • cell
  • capped brood - Larvae develop in these cells. At the end of the larva phase workers seal the cell with wax; the pupa develops in the sealed cell.

Life cycle

  • queen
  • laying eggs - The queen lays the egg into a cell.
  • larva 1 - A larva hatches from the egg in the unsealed cell.
  • larva 2 - At the end of the larva phase the workers seal the cell with wax.
  • pupa - It develops in the sealed cell.
  • imago (adult) - The adult bee leaves the cell. It takes 16 days for the queen to fully develop, 21 days for workers and 24 days for drones.
  • egg - Drones will develop in unfertilised eggs and workers develop in fertilised eggs. If the larva developing in a fertilised egg is fed with royal jelly, it becomes a queen.

The queen lays its egg into a cell. While an unfertilised egg develops into a drone, a fertilised egg develops into a worker bee or, if the egg is fed on a special substance, called royal jelly, into a queen. The young larva develops in the cell. At the end of the larval instar, before pupation workers seal the cell with wax. Then an adult bee emerges from the pupa and leaves the cell.

Honey production

  • honey stomach
  • nectar

Worker bees make honey, which serves as food for both larvae and adult bees. The worker bee sucks up nectar from the flower into its honey stomach, where enzymes start transforming it into honey. The worker bee returns to the hive and empties the content of its honey stomach into a cell. The water-content of the honey in the cell is reduced, honey becomes thicker. When the honey is ready, workers seal the cell with wax to store its content.

Animation

  • laying eggs - The queen lays the egg into a cell.
  • larva 1 - A larva hatches from the egg in the unsealed cell.
  • larva 2 - At the end of the larva phase the workers seal the cell with wax.
  • pupa - It develops in the sealed cell.
  • imago (adult) - The adult bee leaves the cell. It takes 16 days for the queen to fully develop, 21 days for workers and 24 days for drones.
  • egg - Drones will develop in unfertilised eggs and workers develop in fertilised eggs. If the larva developing in a fertilised egg is fed with royal jelly, it becomes a queen.

Narration

Honey bees are insects that form colonies. The head of a honeybee colony is the queen. Its abdomen is enlarged, due to the continuous production of eggs.

The eggs may be fertilised by male bees, or drones, during mating. A drone’s abdomen is stout, which makes it easy to differentiate a drone from a worker. Drones do not have stings.

Worker bees take care of the brood, collect nectar, and use their stings to protect the hive. After a bee sting, the sting and the venom bulb of the bee is ripped out of the body of the bee, it subsequently dies, that is, it sacrifices itself for its hive. The venom bulb continues to pump venom into the victim.

The queen lays its egg into a cell. While an unfertilised egg develops into a drone, a fertilised egg develops into a worker bee or, if the egg is fed on a special substance, called royal jelly, it develops into a queen. The young larva develops in the cell. At the end of the larval instar, before pupation, workers seal the cell with wax then an adult bee emerges from the pupa and leaves the cell.

Worker bees make honey that is used as food by both larvae and adult bees. The worker bee sucks up nectar from the flower into its honey stomach, where enzymes start transforming it into honey. The worker bee returns to the hive and empties the content of its honey stomach into a cell. The water content of the honey in the cell is reduced and the honey becomes thicker. When the honey is ready, the workers seal the cell with wax to store its contents.

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