The Life of Bees

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Life of Bees

Obscure Fact: 90 % of Bees are Solitary


Photo by Ilana Grostern on Unsplash

There are about 850 species of wild bees, as well as honey bees which were traditionally imported from Europe for honey, and for wax.

The honey bee can be differentiated by the shape of its thorax and abdomen. They are distinctively barrel-shaped and don’t have a thin middle section between the thorax and abdomen like other insects.

Approximately 90% of all bees are solitary bees. In solitary bees, there is no division of labor, although the females do establish and provide a nest on their own.

Certain bees do compete for plants to pollinate, and because the honey bee is larger, will overpower due to its mass alone, they will not physically fight.

Bumblebees are extremely good-tempered and warn by posturing before they sting. Male bees have no stingers and can’t sting. Solitary bees hardly ever sting, because they have no honey to protect. The family Apidae contains three distinct groups that exhibit eusocial behavior: stingless bees, bumblebees, and honey bees. Social bees are honey bees and bumblebees,

the former making honey and wax.


When a honey bee stings a person, it can’t pull the barbed sting, It leaves behind the stinger, part of the abdomen, and digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves, so consequently dies. Bumblebees and carpenter bees can pull out their stinger and can sting multiple times.

In most species, the bee’s tongue is guarded by a long, two-sided, beak of a sheath, which folds under the body when the bee flies.

Bees sleep to our circadian rhythm, honeybees sleep between five and eight hours a day according to day/night cycles as we do.

Researchers believe that bees do not feel pain.

Honey bees remember scent of the flowers. They have a brain that is divided in half, like ours, with different functions.

The development of the bee from the egg takes various periods of time depending on the type. The queen in 15–16 days, workers in 21 days, and drones in 24 days.

Bees drink water routinely as we do. Water is diluted with gelatinous food secreted from the head glands of nurse bees, so that the queen, developing larvae, drones, and worker bees can swallow the food.

Most bees will not sting but precautions can be taken.

  1. Wear unscented products

  2. Use insect repellent to mask scents

  3. natural repellents are citrus, mint, and eucalyptus oils

  4. Dryer sheets are effective insect repellents and can be tucked into your pocket, or place under picnic blankets



Shirley Langton 2020


Submitted: June 18, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Shirley M. Langton. All rights reserved.

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