Hooray spring is here,and with it comes all the beautiful and wonderful things. Flowers start to grow, grass starts to look green, people smile more, and the insects arrive as well. Some insects are unwanted, Some are wanted and needed. Of course I am talking about the pollinators. The Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and of course the Bees.
There are over 20,000 species of Bees in the world, about 4,000 of the different species are in the USA. About 800 of them are here in Canada. The Honey Bee is the most common worldwide, and also the most favored for production and pollination. The Honey Bee and the Bumblebee are very high on the endangered species list.
Both worker Bees and the Queen Bee are female, but only the Queen is the one that can reproduce. The worker Bee is the descendant of the Queen Bee. The Drones are all male.
Worker Bees will select certain larvae to produce the Queen. This larvae is specially fed to become sexually mature. Once developed the Bees will always follow her, and protect her very strongly until she dies. If the Queen produces lazy, hungry,or sterile males she will be killed by the other Bees, and one of the Queen’s daughters will now become Queen to produce productive males. While she is Queen she will produce a chemical signal that will be triggered to stop other females from reproducing.
When a Queen Bee dies this chemical signal will wear off allowing the worker Bees to lay eggs, which will cause the controlled system to break down, until a new Queen is chosen. The new Queen is replaced quickly to continue to have a very highly efficient working system. A colony of Honey Bees can survive about six weeks without a Queen, then without a Queen the colony will start to die off one by one.
Unless you are highly allergic to Bee stings which of course kill you. on average adults could have about 1,000-1,100 stings and a child about 500 – 525 before the stinging could kill them. (Yikes, who wants to even think about getting stung that much)
Without our wonderful bees we will lose the plants and flowers that they pollinate, we will then start to lose the animals that survive off of these plants.
In the Picture above the Bees are on the Bee Balm Plant, but there are so many other plants that the Bees will pollinate and keep our ecosystem thriving, so if you can plant as many flowers and plants to keep the bees alive, well and thriving. There is a saying out there”Bring Back The Bees” let’s all do this year and get them off the endangered species list!