Species of the Week Number 25: Western Honey Bee

Last week we featured a Cherry Plum Tree - because it was the first tree in Meanwood to blossom. Since then not only have two of its branches crashed down under the weight of snow but, when things warmed up, the white flowers became a massive magnet for honey bees. In the warmer days this week it has been covered in hundreds of bees that have just woken up from their winter hibernation.

Bee society is not an equal one. All of the bees harvesting on the tree pollen are female 'worker bees'. We know this because the only thing male bees or drones are good for is reproduction - and as there is no reproduction in the winter all the males were chased out the hive to perish in the cold weather. The queen bee will just makes some more each year as required - she only needs 24 days notice.

The female bees on the other hand do all the work (sound familiar?). Her 'to do' list goes like this: clean out own cell; feed brood; receive nectar; clean hive; guard duty; forage. His 'to do' list on the other hand goes: sex; sex; sex. The male drones don't even bother defending the hive and can't sting. Pathetic.

Despite this there is a lot we can learn from bee society. The Quran even has a Sura (chapter) titled "The Bee" which explains how we can learn from the industry and adaptability of honey bees

The bees are all collecting pollen fro the Cherry Plum Tree flowers. They use the little panniers on their hind legs (known as corbicula) which are getting full of the yellow pollen to take back to the hive. The bee then returns to the hive and deposits the pollen into cells in the honeycomb.

By moving from flower to flower the bee is also pollinating the tree.

Habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change are just some of the risks our bees face

I hope you enjoyed this spot of amateur melittology - the study of bees.

Publicado el 15 de marzo de 2023 por clunym clunym


No hay comentarios todavía.

Agregar un comentario

Acceder o Crear una cuenta para agregar comentarios.