Bees are a flying insect that are characterized by their distinctive yellow and black covering. Some species of bees are also well known for their ability to produce honey. All bees are important in the pollination of plants and there are nearly 20,000 species of bee worldwide. They are found on every continent, other than Antarctica. Bees have two sets of wings with the bottom winds being the shortest. Some bees of certain species are unable to fly, but still have wings. There has been a massive decline in bee population over the last century and this has caused a great deal of concern among environmentalists, beekeepers and farmers alike.
What Do Bees Eat?
Bees eat two things, pollen and nectar. Nectar is eaten from flowers using the bee’s long, tube-like, proboscis. Extra nectar is extracted and placed on the tongue of another bee. This absorbs some of the water. The nectar is placed into the honeycombs hollows and fanned by house bees to extract more water. This turns the sweet nectar into honey. The honey is stored in the hive to sustain bees through the autumn and winter when the plants are not flowering. Pollen is high in protein and is eaten to sustain a bee’s energy and help them to grow. Pollen is fed to baby bees as they need a lot of protein to mature. The pollen is mixed with some honey to form a substance known as beebread. Royal jelly is fed to the queen larvae. This is high protein mix of pollen, honey and a special enzyme from the nurse bees.