The guy in this clip is clearly very comfortable around bees! He has been called in to deal with a massive honey bee storm that has settled on a tree in someone’s garden. The bees have gathered along a branch – essentially turning it brown!
As his colleague cuts the branch close to the trunk, this guy grabs it and gently lowers it, and thousands of bees, to the ground. We learn that these bees have a stomach full of honey and that means that they are in a really good mood. They don’t want to sting anybody and are willing to cooperate with what he wants them to do. The aim is to get them to move in to some transportation crates. Sure enough, they move as one group into the waiting crates. These bees are going to be relocated to where some fruits and vegetables are growing where they can help with pollination.
How Many Types of Honey Bee Are There?
Honey bees are in the Apis genus and there are eight species. The most well known in the US is the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) that is used to make commercial honey. Some other examples are the Philippine Honey Bee (Apis nigrocincta) and the dwarf honey bee (Apis florea).
One fascinating honey bee fact is that they are believed to have evolved from hunting wasps. Millions of years ago they developed a taste for nectar and became vegetarian!
How Do Honeybees Normally Behave?
Honeybees always live in large colonies. The colony has a single queen and there are many sterile female workers. It also contains some male drones. In the wild, honey bees nest in hollows in trees but we encourage them to live in commercial hives so that we can harvest their honey.
A colony starts when a new queen emerges and takes flight. When she returns to her hive, she kills the existing, older queen. Queens can live for several years whereas the workers may only survive for a few weeks.
How Do Bees Make Honey?
All honey starts off as nectar which is the sugary liquid produced by flowers. The bees suck up the nectar and store it in the first chamber of their stomach. Here, it is broken down into simple sugars. Once they are back in the hive, the bees regurgitate the nectar and it is passed from mouth to mouth amongst the bees. This makes it lose its water content and become thick and sticky. Now it is honey!
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