Bees work too!
by Lisa Hawkins
Here is more great info on bees.
In a hive there are 3 kinds of bees. The queen is the only bee that lays eggs. She does this day and night and it is her only job. The worker bees basically do all of the work. They collect nectar, make honey, royal jelly and bee bread, make cells, clean the hive, protect the hive and care for the drones and young bees. The drones are male bees. Their only job is to mate with the queen. Worker bees even bring them their meals.
Workers begin their life by taking care of the “baby” bees, then they guard the hive and then they spend the rest of their lives making honey. You may now want to do the activity that describes work on the “Fun things to do page”.
Bees are insects. All insects have exoskeletons (the outer part of the body serves as its protection….there are no bones in an insect) 3 body parts and 6 legs. The major parts of a bee are:
Antennae – sense odor and touch, bees do not have a nose.
Abdomen – contains wax glands and stinger (in females)
Thorax – where the legs and wings connect to the body.
Wing – 2 pairs, one in front one in rear of thorax.
Eye – bees see only 6 colors and one of them is ultraviolet. Their eyes are compound, meaning they have lots of lenses to see through.
Head – contains brain, eyes, antennae, mouth etc.
Proboscis – mouth assembly-mandible and tongue.
Mandible – jaws that are plier like.
Legs – 6 hairy legs. The set of rear legs contain a pollen basket to hold the pollen and a pollen press is located at the joint of the rear leg to squeeze the pollen into pellets
Stinger – ouch…I think we know what this is…the pointy end is barbed to make it impossible for the bee to remove it from the victim without losing some of its internal organs. The stinger is attached to a poison sac that is removed from the bees body when it tries to fly away. Then the bee dies. The stinger is retracted inside the bees body when not in use.
Spiracles – tiny holes in the side of the bees body. They breathe through these holes. See activities that will help children learn and memorize the parts of the bee.
Bees have 4 stages to their life…first an egg, then a larvae (grub), then pupa, then an adult. The workers take 3 weeks to go through these stages to reach adult. The stages for a worker bee are as follows: The queen lays an egg in each egg cell, and in 4 days it hatches into a larvae. The larvae is fed beebread which is nectar and pollen. On day 9 the cell is capped by a worker and the larvae turns into a pupa. Pupas do not eat. On day 21 the pupa comes out of the cell and begins to work. Workers only live about 6 weeks. Drone and Queen bee life stages differ in the amount of time it takes to become an adult.
My next article is about honey, dancing and wax!