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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Western honey bee (Apis mellifera)




Western honey bee | Apis mellifera photo
Honey bee

Photograph by Vera Buhl. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Western honey bee | Apis mellifera photo
Honey bee

Photograph by böhringer friedrich. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Western honey bee | Apis mellifera photo
Apis mellifera - queen and worker bees

Photograph by Jessica Lawrence, Eurofins Agroscience Services, Bugwood.org. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

WESTERN HONEY BEE FACTS

Description
The Western honey bee is a well known insect around the world. It is a hairy bee, yellowish brown in color with darker bands on the abdomen. Honey bees are social insects and form large colonies. Bees produce honey from plant nectar that they collect. In the wild they build their hive in hollow trees. Honey bees have a stinger which they use to defend the hive, the stinger is barbed and the bee will usually die after stinging a person. When the colony becomes too large, the old queen will take half the colony to form a new hive leaving a new queen to take over the existing hive.

Other Names
European honey bee

Size
about 2cm long

Environment
Honey bees require a habitat with plenty of flowering plants to produce food, suitable habitats include including woodland, parks and gardens

Food
The best collect nectar and convert it to honey which is stored in their hive.

Breeding
The queen bee is the only fertile female in the hive, and she lays all the eggs and deposits them in cells made by the other worker bees. When the egg hatches it is fed by worker bees that tend to the inside of the colony. The larva is then sealed in a cell to pupate and emerges as an adult bee.

Range
The Western honey bee is native to Europe, Africa and Asia. It was introduced to North America in the 17th century.

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Apidae
Genus:Apis
Species:mellifera
Common Name:Western honey bee


Relatives in same Genus
  Africanized honey bee (A. mellifera scutellata)