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Honeybee sucks nectar
Honeybee sucks nectar


Western honey bee
The Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) was formerly known as the European honey bee. It belongs to the genus of honey bees, which is thought to have existed for the last 100 million years. . It was previously only widespread in Europe, Africa and Asia. Because of its importance to apiculture, the honey bee was brought to other continents in the course of colonisation. In Asia there are 8 other species of bees, of which the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) is the most well known. Honey bees are divided into 25 sub-species. One of these is the European dark bee, which was originally only native north of the Alps.
Honey bee on yellow blossom
Honey bee on yellow blossom
The Western honey bee is a social insect. The queens reach a body length of 15 to 18 mm, the drones, 13 to 16 mm and the workers, 11 to 13 mm. The drones have larger compound eyes than the workers. Workers can in principle also lay eggs, but are usually prevented by a chemical messenger - a substance excreted by the queen.
Honeybee front view
Honeybee front view
Honeybee approaching a flower
Honeybee approaching a flower
The legs of honey bees are segmented, the hind legs play an important role in pollen collection. The first sector of the hind legs is greatly widened. On the inner side of this, is a thick line of hair which the bee uses to brush off pollen remains. Pollen is transported to the hive in "baskets" made out of an arrangement of hairs, also located on the hind legs. Like all bees, the honey bee has mouth parts, which can lap up sweet plant secretions (nectar and honeydew). Nectar is transported in part of the stomach called the "honey stomach". Other bees on the same level in the hive are supplied with nectar by this bee.

Honeybee Front View
Honeybee Front View
Bees build hexagonal combs of wax which are used for rearing the young and the storage of pollen and honey. To prevent the introduction of diseases into the hive, cracks and small holes are blocked with an antibiotic "putty", made from tree resin and pollen, called propolis. In addition, all surfaces (including inside the combs) are sealed with a thin film of propolis.
Two Honeybees, one is flying
Two Honeybees, one is flying
Honey bees are considered the most important pollinators of about 80 percent of the flowers in the temperate zones. They fall into the category of livestock because of their production of honey and wax. After removal of these products from the hive, beekeepers provide the bees with substitutes (sugar water), so the bees can survive the winter well.


Further chapters of "Honey Bees"
- Products of bees
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Honeybee sucks nectar
2. Honey bee on yellow blossom
3. Honeybee front view
4. Honeybee approaching a flower
5. Honeybee Front View
6. Two Honeybees, one is flying
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