There are thousands of different species, or kinds, of bees. So their habits and ways of life differ quite a lot. But probably the two things that we find most interesting about bees is how they produce honey, and how the “social” bees have organized their life.
In producing honey, a bee visits flowers, drinks the nectar, and carries it home in its honey bee. This is a bag like enlargement of the digestive tract just in front of, but separate from, the bee’s stomach. The sugars found in nectar undergo chemical changes while in the bee’s honey sac is the first step in changing nectar into honey.
Before nectar becomes honey, the honey- bees remove a large part of the water by evaporation processes. Honey stored by bumblebees in cells called “honeypots” is almost as thin as nectar and will sour in a short time. Honey stored in the honeycombs by honeybees has so much water removed from the original nectar that it will keep almost forever.
What About The Winter?
In temperate regions, the young queen bumblebees pass the winter in holes they dig in well-drained sandbanks or in other suitable places. They are the only members of the colony that live through the winter! In the spring, each surviving queen starts a new colony.
The honeybees are luckier. They can adapt themselves to all extremes of climate. They have a social organization that is so very efficient and complicated that it has been compared to that of man.
In the hive where they live, worker bees regulate the temperature with great exactness. They keep it at 34 degrees Centigrade where the young bees are being developed. During the winter, they do not let the colony temperature fall below 7 degrees. Honey stored in the hive is used as fuel by the bees. They have an efficient way of preventing the loss of more than a very small part of the heat they produce by consuming honey.
What Are The Tiny Bees Called?
Tiny bees called sweat bees.