HELPFUL  INFORMATION

    HONEYBEES are animals
    HONEYBEES are a type of insect
    HONEYBEES live all over the world - except ... ANTARCTICA !

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    Life for HONEYBEES has been much the same since GOD created them   !


    ##############################################################################################
    it is believed there are more than 10 million different animal species in the world
    1.75 million named species
    more than 1,000,0000 of these species are INSECTS
    ##############################################################################################

    About  30,000  different species of BEE worldwide :

    LARGEST bee species in the world
    Chalicodoma pluto
    1 1/2 "   -   2 "

    SMALLEST bee species in the world
    Perdita minima
    so tiny ... dozens could fit on ONE antenna of largest bee in the world   !     

    About  3,500  different species of bee in NORTH AMERICA   !

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    2  TYPES OF BEE
    SOCIAL                                                                                        
    live together inside hive nest                                                 
    group called colony                                                                  
    as small as 10 bees                                                                  
    as large as 100,000 bees   

    SOLITARY
    live alone
    sometimes small numbers
    gather in small areas
    nest near each other

    ################################################                           
    99 %  OF ALL BEES ARE SOCIAL
    ################################################

    HONEYBEES are  1  type of bee
    HONEYBEES are most social of all bees
    HONEYBEES have most highly organized developed societies

    SOCIAL BEES                                                                  
    HONEYBEE   
    BUMBLEBEES
    STINGLESS BEES

    SOLITARY BEES
    CARPENTER BEES
    LEAF CUTTER BEES
    CUCKOO BEES
    BLUEBERRY BEES
    MASON BEES
    MINING BEES

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    4  different species of HONEYBEE in world
    all  4  species build honeycomb nests
    2  species build honeycomb nest outside in open
    2  species build honeycomb nest inside cavities

    2  OUTSIDE BUILDERS
    Apis florea
    THE LITTLE HONEYBEE
    native to Southeast Asia
    1/4 " long
    smallest honeybee

    Apis dorsata
    THE GIANT HONEYBEE
    native to Southeast Asia
    3/4 " long
    largest honeybee

    2  INSIDE BUILDERS
    Apis cerana
    native to Eastern Asia
    as far north as Korea and Japan

    Apis mellifera
    native to Europe - Middle East - Western Asia - North Africa

    ##################################################################
    Apis mellifera
    NATURAL BOUNDARIES WERE MOUNTAINS AND SEAS
    UNTIL HUMANS INTERVENED
    ##################################################################

    ######################################################################
    Apis mellifera
    THE HONEYBEE OF NORTH AMERICA WAS BROUGHT
    TO VIRGINIA IN 1622 BY THE EARLY ENGLISH COLONISTS
    ######################################################################



    ###########################################
    Apis mellifera
    HONEYBEES  ARE  VERY  GENTLE
    HONEYBEES are NOT domesticated
    ###########################################
 

    HONEYBEE  BIOLOGY
    There are 3 types or classes of HONEYBEES within each species of HONEYBEE
    -     QUEEN     -     WORKERS     -     DRONES     -

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    ****************************************************************************************************************************************
    All 3 types of HONEYBEE share similar physical traits
    but ...
    are also very different from each other

    HONEYBEES have super complex physiology !
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    PHYSICAL  CHARACTERISTICS
    COLOR
    golden yellow and black stripes                                                                                                                                               
    #########################################################################
    YELLOW AND BLACK STRIPES LET OTHER ANIMALS KNOW
    THAT HONEYBEES HAVE A POWERFUL WEAPON OF DEFENSE
    #########################################################################  

    HAIR
    body covered in thick thick hair

    SKELETON
    external  (outside)
    chiton

    BODY  SEGMENTS or SECTIONS
    HONEYBEE body has 3 segments or sections
    HEAD
    THORAX
    ABDOMEN

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    ****************************************************************************************************************************************
    HEAD
    EYES
    5 eyes ....

    3 small eyes -
    regular
    on top of head in triangle pattern
    called OCELLI

    2 large eyes -
    compound
    1 each side of head
    each is really thousands of regular eyes
    clustered close together
    together these many facets or lenses called OMMATIDIA
    each separate facet or lense called OMMATIDIUM

    DO NOT HAVE PUPILS

    have 9 receptor cells in each OMMATIDIUM - sensitive to light and color -
    1 sensitive to ultraviolet polarized light
    2 sensitive to green
    2 sensitive to blue
    2 sensitive to ultraviolet
    2 to monitor one of the 3 color bands .....  green  ..  blue  ..  ultraviolet
    location of receptor cell in eye determines which color band is monitored
    example:
    -  receptor cells in lowest part of eye monitor green band

    HONEYBEES see colors
    blues
    yellows
    greens
    ultraviolet
    white as blue-green
    red as ultraviolet

    sensitive to ultraviolet polarized light

    HONEYBEES need color vision to find food !

    HONEYBEES need ultraviolet vision to see MORE of the flower ...
    to find nectar FASTER and more DIRECTLY !

    ################################################################################
    IT IS BELIEVED THAT HONEYBEES SEE IMAGES
    AS IF THEY ARE A NEEDLEPOINT CANVAS ...
    WITH MANY POINTS OR DOTS OF COLOR WITH A GRAINY TEXTURE         
    ################################################################################

    ANTENNAE
    organs for detecting and smelling scents and odors

    HONEYBEES have long long antennae

    MOUTH  /  MOUTHPARTS
    MANDIBLES
    2 external jaws on either side of mouth
    used for chewing
    especially useful in making honeycomb

    PROBISCIS
    below and next to mandibles
    8 sections
    hollow flexible tongue-like tube
    acts like a straw
    - to bring in nectar or honey
    and
    - to draw nectar or honey back out
    folds up and is kept at base of mouthparts

    probiscis length is different for each of the  3  types of HONEYBEE
    worker - very long
    queen  - short
    drone   - short

    do not lap up nectar with probiscis tip
    explore with tip

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    ****************************************************************************************************************************************
    THORAX
    middle section of body
    most muscle mass in thorax
    wings extend from thorax
    legs extend from thorax

    WINGS
    4 wings
    2 on each side of thorax

    when fly ...
    2 wings on each side join together with tiny hooks
    act as 1 wing

    WINGS MOVE
    up
    down
    forward
    backward

    HONEYBEES CAN FLY
    up
    down
    forward
    backward
    sideways
    hover in place

    HONEYBEE muscles do not directly power wings for flight

    muscles compress thorax vertically and longitudinally

    each wing attached to a plate

    alternating contractions cause wings to move quickly up and down  !

    ############################################################################
    HONEYBEES CAN BEAT THEIR WINGS 250 TIMES PER SECOND  !
    ############################################################################

    LEGS
    6 legs
    3 legs on each side of thorax

    each leg
    5 joints
    plus tiny foot section at tip
    foot section has tiny suction cup

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    ABDOMEN
    last section of body
    tail end of body
 
 

    QUEEN  BIOLOGY  
    PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
    COLOR
    darkest and more deep golden of 3 types of HONEYBEE

    SIZE
    largest of 3 types of HONEYBEE
    length -   .75 "  -   .8 "     -- ( a bit over 3/4 " )
    weight -   .008   ounce    -- ( about 2 times the size of a worker )

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    HEAD
    No gland to make royal jelly

    BRAIN
    smaller than worker

    EYES
    3500 facets in each compound eye

    MOUTH
    short tongue
    ( too short to be able to collect nectar )

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    THORAX
    no leg brushes to clean own body

    no pollen baskets for collecting

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    ABDOMEN
    huge abdomen  !
    DIGESTIVE ORGANS
    HEART
    SCENT GLAND
    no glands to make wax
    OVARIES fully developed HUGE
    SPERMATHECA special additional organ ... to store genetic material she receives from male after mating
    ( QUEEN IS ALMOST A HERMAPHRODITE )

    STINGER
    smooth  
    no barbs
    curved
    does not tear out of body
    reusable  - can sting many times
    ONLY STING OTHER QUEENS  !
    NEVER sting workers or drones  !
 

    WORKER  BIOLOGY
    PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
    COLOR
    light golden yellow and black stripes

    SIZE
    smallest of 3 types of honeybee
    length  :  almost   .5 "    - ( almost  1/2 " long )
    weight :  .004 ounce  /  40 mg

    HAIR
    thick thick hair on body
    electromagnetic

    ####################################################
    HAIR ATTRACTS AND COLLECTS POLLEN  
    ####################################################

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    HEAD
    BRAIN   HUGE  HUGE HUGE  !

    EYES
    4500 facets in each compound eye

    ANTENNAE
    long thin jointed feelers at front of head
    12000 tiny tactile hairs
    provide sense of touch
    5000 - 6000   scent  /  odor receptors total
    2500 - 3000   receptors on each antenna
    ( this creates the sense of smell for the HONEYBEE )

    ###########################################################################
    100 TIMES MORE SENSITIVE THAN HUMAN SENSE OF SMELL
    ###########################################################################

    ###############################################################
    SCENT  RECEPTORS  ARE  NEEDED  TO  HELP  WITH  
    COMMUNICATION  INSIDE  THE DARKNESS  OF  HIVE
    ###############################################################

    ANTENNAE
    long   = bees - wasps
    short  = flies    

    MOUTH  /  MOUTHPARTS
    MANDIBLES
    are jaws ..
    chew wax
    sometimes used to cut flowers

    PROBISCIS
    long - flexible - tongue-like - hollow - moves in all directions - acts like straw :
    - to draw in nectar or honey
    - bring nectar or honey back out of honey stomach

    TASTE
    sense of taste is actually DULL
    nectar needs to be SUPER SWEET for it to register as even a little sweet with them
    workers use tip of probiscis to actually check the chemical content of a potential food
    determine sugar density of nectar

    HONEYBEES ARE ONE OF NATURE'S CHEMISTS


    most nectar  .. 40 % -  70 %  sugar content
    nectar must have dense dense dense composition in order to turn into HONEY
    so ..
    just slightly sweet nectar does not even register with workers as being a possible good food source

    honeybees MUST  be constantly concerned about the need to create durable food for winter

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    THORAX
    LEGS
    each has claw and suction pad on end
    this arrangement allows for :
    horizontal and vertical movement

    used for walking and as tools to ..
    handle wax
    move pollen
    carry pollen
    carry propolis

    POLLEN BASKETS
    on outside part of 2 back or hind legs - smooth area surrounded by stiff hairs

    ANTENNA CLEANER
    2 front legs .. each has a  V  notch  and  a raised knob spur

    WINGS
    4 wings .. 2 front wings  .. bigger than 2 back wings

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    ABDOMEN
    SCENT GLAND
    DIGESTIVE ORGANS
    HEART
    WAX GLANDS
    HONEY STOMACH
    special internal sac pouch .. where nectar is stored  
    bit bigger than head of pin
    also called honey crop

    STINGER  
    used to deliver venom
    venom produced in venom gland
    venom stored in venom sac
    venom is complex formula of chemicals

    worker stinger looks like it is a straight spear shaped body extension with barbed hooks along sides
    the straight spear shaped stinger of the worker HONEYBEE is actually 3 separate parts
    the upper part is a pointed spear
    the two lower parts are barbed spears
    the inner surfaces of the 2 barbed spears are .. curved concave in shape
    the 3 parts of the worker stinger fit very very closely together
    the 3 parts together create a hollow shaft tube

    venom travels through this tube   !

    when a worker HONEYBEE stings ..
    - the upper part of the stinger goes into the skin of whoever is being stung
    - the 2 lower barbed parts of the stinger pump alternately deeper and deeper into the skin
    - this alternate pumping action forces the upper spear part deeper into skin
    THEN ..
    the venom shoots in     !

    the barbed hooks hold position in body of whoever has forced the gentle honeybee to sting ..
    THEN ..
    stinger tears out of honeybee's body when used on mammals  
    does not tear out when used on insects or other honeybees

    strong strong muscles keep pumping venom after the stinger has torn away from the honeybee

    honeybee CANNOT live if stinger tears out of body   !
    the precious life of the honeybee ends a few hours later

    ###############################################################################
    VENOM IS THE ONLY DEFENSE OF THIS GENTLE GENTLE ANIMAL
    ###############################################################################
 
 

    DRONE  BIOLOGY
    PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
    COLOR
    yellow gold and black stripes

    SIZE
    drones are big and bulky
    length -   .65 "  -  .75 "      ( 5/8 " long )
    weight -  .007 ounce    ( twice the size of worker )

    HAIR
    thick thick hair

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    HEAD
    EYES
    HUGE  HUGE  HUGE   ! ! !  -  7,500 facets or lenses in each of 2 compound eyes

    ANTENNAE
    about 80,000 scent receptors or olfactory cavities total
    37,800 - 40,000 on each antenna
    drones NEED NEED NEED this many to help them to :   SMELL .. IDENTIFY .. LOCATE ..
    possible unmated QUEENS for mating

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    THORAX
    DIGESTIVE ORGANS
    HEART

    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    **************************************************************************************************************************************
    ABDOMEN
    NO stinger
Honeybee
   
Apis  mellifera
   
WESTERN  HONEYBEE
EUROPEAN  HONEYBEE
NORTH  AMERICAN  HONEYBEE
   
    SCIENTIFIC  CLASSIFICATION

    KINGDOM :              Animal              
    SUB KINGDOM :     Metazoa            
    PHYLUM :                Arthropoda      
    SUB PHYLUM :       Invertebrata     
    CLASS :                   Insecta             
    ORDER :                  Hymenoptera  
    SUPER FAMILY :    Apoidea            
    FAMILY :                  Apidae              
    GENUS :                  Apis                     
    SPECIES :               mellifera            

    ****************************************************************************************************************
    to learn about SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION ..
    go to ..
    LINNAEUS SYSTEM OF CLASSIFICATION page
 
" LORD !
All creatures look to you "
Psalm 104:24,27

    LIFESPAN
    QUEEN
    may be born different times of year - mostly SPRING
    5 - 8 years
    **********************************************************
    WORKER
    born in SPRING thru SUMMER
    6 weeks
    ( tremendous amount of hard work to do during this time shortens lifespan )
    ***********************************************************************************************
    born in AUTUMN thru WINTER
    3 - 4 months
    ( less work during this time lengthens lifespan )

    **********************************************************
    DRONE
    all born early SPRING thru early SUMMER
    4 - 5 months
 

    WHERE  IN  THE  WORLD
    Apis mellifera HONEYBEES
    are found in temperate climates of the world including ..
    deserts  -  mountains  -  forests  -  fields  -  savanahs  -  roadsides  -  grassy plains
 

    HABITAT
    colony hive is a cooperative collective or group of many who together equal .. " THE ONE "

    COLONY HIVE
    1 QUEEN
    50,000 - 80,000 of workers
    300 - 500 drones

    colony hive is a nest with storage space for FOOD and BROOD

    HONEYBEES need
    warmth
    fresh air
    insulation
    ventilation
    to regulate temperature of surroundings

    Apis mellifera HONEYBEES are cavity dwellers
    holes .. high up .. in LIVE trees
    crevaces
    caves
    man-made houses   ( similar to bird houses )

    honeybees prefer to live in hole cavities in living trees

    HONEYCOMB
    inside cavity honeybees build structure to house FOOD and BROOD !
    called HONEYCOMB
    made of BEESWAX
    2 sided
    vertical
    6 sided horizontal cells
    the cells are where they house their food and brood
    there is usually about 6 honeycombs hanging from top of cavity - parallel to each other

    the honeybees will create small entrance / exit openings at the bottom of the hive nest
    propolis is used to strengthen weak points and to fill gaps

    the spaces or passageways between the combs are called beeways or bee corridors
    bee corridors are 1/4 " -  3/8 " wide
    the dimensions are just the right size for the passage of one worker honeybee at a time
    PRECISE TO THE DIMENSIONS OF WORKERS !

    CELL
    shape .. 6 sided hexagon
    base shape of each cell .. 3 sided pyramid
    shape insures that NO space is wasted whatsoever !
    shape insures that NO wax is wasted !
    LEAST amount of wax is used to construct MOST useful shaped structure

    25 cells  =  1 square inch  

    CELL IS VERY VERY VERY STRONG !
    so fine - so delicate ..
    would need 3,000 cell walls to make 1 inch

    ALL honeycomb cells are .. 5/8 " deep    

    cells for worker brood   -   1/5 " wide
    cells for drone brood     -   1/4 " wide
    cells for honey storage -   1/4 " wide

    inside each cell is coated with propolis to make sure it is dry and as germ free as possible


    COMB CONSTRUCTION
    1st  .. HONEYBEES hang from top of cavity by using suction cup feet
    2nd .. produce wax
    3rd  .. a type of shelf or ledge at top of cavity is made of wax to support workers while they work on comb

    brood cells and food cells  ..
    always capped with wax from construction ledges ---- HONEYBEES RECYCLE !!!!!

    brood cell caps ..
    underside is left rough
    so ..
    larva will know from which end to break out of cell when they are ready to emerge as new adults

    most important job is to build cells for babies !

    then build cells for provisions

    ################################################################
    it is not known or understood by humans
    how honeybees build such complex structures with such exact precision
    THEY ARE BETTER MORE ACCURATE BUILDERS THAN HUMANS !
    ################################################################

    HUMIDITY
    need to keep humidity inside hive at 40 % - 50 %

    TEMPERATURE
    need constant temperature of 93 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit around Queen and brood cell area
    if temperature gets too high workers communicate the problem throughout the colony in just minutes
    all workers IMMEDIATELY stop whatever they are doing .. move to hive openings .. FAN WINGS  !
    push out hot air and drive in cooler air

    during time of high temperatures workers will bring in water drops .. place on cells to cool them  !
    on hot days you can hear the fanning of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of wings from FAR AWAY !
    this is the buzzing sound associated with honeybees !

    in autumn honeybees prepare for winter ..
    eat lots of honey .. convert to protein and fat .. sustains life during cold winter
    close all entrance / exit openings
    cluster together around queen to maintain constant temperature

    even if snowing .. temperature at and around queen is always 93 - 95 degress Fahrenheit
    temperature of outer layer of HONEYBEE cluster is 45 degrees Fahrenheit
    workers rotate position to stay warm ! ..
    outer edge workers move to center of cluster ..
    and workers in center work way out to outer edge of cluster

    areas for food storage / winter storehouses of food situated not too far from zone of heat
    nectar - honey - pollen
    stored at upper section of comb

    brood cells are located in center of comb around the zone of heat


    COMB WEIGHING 1 OUNCE WILL HOLD ABOUT 4 POUNDS OF HONEY

    ALL THE COMB IN HIVE CAN HOLD UP TO 300 POUNDS OF HONEY
 
 


IT IS ONLY PRAYERS OF THE HEART TO GOD
THAT MOVE HUMANS
AND THUSLY THE WORLD

ALWAYS  TELL  GOD  IN  YOUR  PRAYERS
HOW  BEAUTIFUL  HE  HAS  MADE  THE  EARTH  
! ! !
 
" The LORD provides "
Psalm 147:7
 


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