Order and Family:
Apidae, Apid Bees
Pest Control Service Recommendation:
Bee & Beehive Removal Service
Male drone 5/8″ (15-17 mm); queen 3/4″ (18-20 mm); sterile female worker 3/8-5/8″ (10-15 mm). Drone more robust with largest compound eyes; queen elongates with smallest compound eyes and larger abdomen; worker smallest. All mostly reddish-brown and black with paler, usually orange-yellow rings on the abdomen. Head, antennae, legs almost black with short, pale erect hair densest on the thorax, least on the abdomen. Wings translucent. Pollen basket on hind tibia.
Adult drinks nectar and eats honey. Larva feeds on honey and royal jelly, a white paste secreted by workers.
Complex social behavior centers on maintaining a queen for a full lifespan, usually 2 or 3 years, sometimes up to 5. Queen lays eggs at intervals, producing a colony of 60,000-80,000 workers, which collect, produce, and distribute honey and maintain the hive. Workers feed royal jelly to queen continuously and to all larvae for the first 3 days; then only queen larvae continue eating royal jelly while other larvae are fed bee bread, a mixture of honey and pollen. Bypassing food mixed with saliva to one another, members of the hive have a chemical bond. New queens are produced in late spring and early summer; the old queen then departs with a swarm of workers to found a new colony. About a day later the first new queen emerges, kills other new queens, and sets out for a few days of orientation flights. In 3-16 days queen again leaves the hive to mate, sometimes mating with several drones before returning to the hive. Drones die after mating; unmated drones are denied food and die.
Hives in hollow trees and hives kept by beekeepers. Workers visit flowers of many kinds in meadows, open woods, and gardens.
Settlers brought the Honey Bee to North America in the 17th century. Today these bees are used to pollinate crops and produce honey. They are frequently seen swarming around tree limbs. Honey Bees are distinguished from bumblebees and bees in other families mostly by wing venation.
WARNING: This bee stings but is not aggressive; if stung, remove the stinger immediately. Aggressive Africanized Honey Bees (“killer bees”) have been moving northward in North America and are much more dangerous than the domestic variety.
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