The Honey Bee 🐝

The Latin name for the honey bee is Apis Mellifera.

Apis is Latin for ‘bee’ and Mellifera is Latin for ‘honey-bearing’.

The western honey bee is the most common species of honey bee worldwide and are best known for there production of honey and pollination  activities. They were the first species of honey bee to be domesticated and now occupy every continent apart from Antarctica. It is the single most important pollinator for agriculture globally.

Honey bees live in colonies consisting of tens of thousands bees, with a single fertile female known as the queen. There are many non-reproductive females / workers and a small number off fertile males / drones. They communicate through pheromones and the dance language.

Unfortunately honey bees are threatened by pests and diseases, especially the Varroa mite and colony collapse disorder.



Evolutionary tree🌳

The honey bee is in section 6, second from the bottom along with wasps and bumble bees.



Honey bee anatomy

  • They have a hard outer shell called an exoskeleton.
  • They have three main body parts: head, thorax, abdomen.
  • They have a pair of antennae that are attached to their head.
  • They have three pairs of legs used for walking.
  • They have two pairs of wings.



Honey Bee homeostasis

A colony of honey bees needs water for several functions, such as maintaining body fluid homeostasis in the adult bees.

A honey bee colony can achieve water homeostasis without maintaining a large water reserve because water, unlike nectar and pollen, is generally available. However, the reliance on external water sources requires rapid activation and deactivation of water collectors, as conditions change.

Colonies collect water for two reasons, related to different types of weather: for cooling of the brood area by evaporation on hot days, and for feeding the larval brood when foraging is limited on cool days.  What is clear is that high broodnest temperatures by themselves do not activate water collectors because these bees are often stimulated to fetch water even without heat stress. The marked delay between the increase of hive temperature and the initiation of water collection, implies that water collectors are not responding directly to the increase in nest temperature when they become active. This is not surprising, as the water collectors normally stay near the hive entrance, away from the broodnest where the temperatures are higher.



How is honey bee🐝 reproduction different to E Coli🦠

The difference between how the honey bee reproduces is mainly how they reproduce. The honey bee reproduces by sexual reproduction whilst E Coli reproduces by binary fission.

Queen bees are the only females in the bee colonies that have the ability to reproduce, there is also male drones that have the  ability to reproduce but there isn’t may of them.

Queens control their workers by releasing pheromones known as the queen’s scent. After the new queen masters the hive, she attends a mating flight at a drone congregation site, where thousands of males wait. Drones discern a queen’s presence through her smell, but they will locate a queen by sight. Drones and queens mate in midair and drones die soon after giving their sperm to the queen. Queens mate with several drones in each mating flight, storing the drones’ sperm in her spermatheca.

The honey bee queen mates at an early age and usually attends only one mating flight, because her sperm reserves allow her to lay millions of eggs throughout her lifetime. Although a queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day during active seasons, the amount and pace at which a queen lays her eggs is greatly controlled by weather, food availability and the particular habits of her subspecies of honey bee. The queen’s fertilized eggs become female workers or future honey bee queens. The queen’s unfertilized eggs develop into male honeybees, or drones.

E Coli reproduces through binary fission which is a process of asexual reproduction by a separation of the body into two new bodies. In the process of binary fission, an organism duplicates its genetic material, or deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and then divides into two parts (cytokinesis), with each new organism receiving one copy of DNA.