African Honey Bee

The African Honey Bee (Apis mellifera scutellata). The bee photographed is the African Honey Bee from Kenya.

The African Honey Bee has a head, thorax (chest), and abdomen with a stinger. The brown abdomen has yellow bands. Its wings are transparent. It has six legs, and large eyes.

Honey Bee

African Honey Bee

The Honey Bee has four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. It grows to about 1-2 centimeters (half to one inch) long.

It is diurnal, which means that it is active during the day, usually early in the morning.

They live in large perennial (lifetime) colonies of 40,000-80,000 bees, comprising one large, egg-laying queen bee, male drones (without stingers), and lots of worker bees (mostly infertile females).

The worker bees are the only bees that gather pollen and nectar from plants. This is called foraging. Pollen is collected on their back legs in a pollen basket. For nectar (flower juice), the bees drink it and store it in their stomachs. Worker bees process the nectar from flowers, transforming it into honey.

The Honey Bee needs an internal body temperature of 35 °C (95 °F) to fly. The optimal air temperature for the worker bees to forage for nectar is 22–25 °C (72–77 °F).

The Honey Bee has many predators, such as birds, wasps, dragonflies, spiders, reptiles, frogs, bears, and other mammals.

Honey Bee

African Honey Bee

Honey Bee

African Honey Bee

Honey Bee

African Honey Bee

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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