Bees (Apoidea superfamily)
are flying insects, closely related to wasps and ants. They are
adapted for feeding on nectar, and play an important role in pollinating
flowering plants, and are called pollinators. Bees have a long
tongue that they use in order to obtain the nectar from flowers.
Bees have antennae made up of thirteen segments in males and twelve
in females. They have two pairs of wings, the back pair being
the smaller of the two. Their legs are modified so that they can
gather pollen and the apex of their abdomens are modified into
a stinger. There are over 16,000 described species, and possibly
around 30,000 species in total. Bees may be solitary, or may live
in various sorts of communities. The most advanced of these are
eusocial colonies, found among the honeybees and stingless bees.
Sociality is believed to have evolved separately in different
groups of bees. Eusocial bees live in large hives, each of which
has a single queen, together with workers and drones.
The life cycle
of bumblebees begins in the spring when the queen bee rises from
hibernation. At this time the queen bee is the one who does all
the work because there are no worker bees to do the work yet.
She searches for a place to build her nest and she builds the
honeypots. She also does the foraging to collect nectar and pollen.
Bumblebee colonies die off in the autumn, after raising a last
generation of queens, which survive individually in found hiding
spots. Interestingly bumblebee queens sometimes seek winter safety
in honeybee hives, where they are sometimes found dead in the
spring by beekeepers, presumably stung to death by the honeybees.
The Above Images Come From The USDA