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Honey Bee, European (Apis mellifera)
admin - 07/01/2015

Honey bees may be various shades of brown, black, or yellow. The body is covered with light colored hairs, thickest on the thorax. They range in size from 1/2" to 3/4" in length with queens being the largest. Honey bees are best known for their production of honey and wax, but have greater importance as a pollinator of flowers, crops and other plants. Colonies contain only one queen, and consist mostly of workers who build and repair the nest, forage for nectar and pollen, produce wax and honey, feed the young, and protect the hive against enemies. Drones have one purpose and that is to mate with the queen, once the have done this they die. Drones buzz ferociously, but lack a stinger and are entirely harmless.

Honey bees can become a serious pest when they establish a nest in attics, chimneys, and wall vouds. Colonies may contain from 20,000 up to 80,000 individules. Nests consist of multiple combs witch are used to store honey and house larvae. Honey bees may swarm on the limb of a tree or in a shrub. This happens when a queen becomes tired and settles on a place to rest. The location where she settles is not necessarily suitable for a permanent colont and they will move on within a couple of days.

When provoked, the honey bee will attack, it inserts its stinger with a sudden jab. The stinger is barbed which keeps it from slipping out. The bee can withdraw ts stinger from an insect, but in human skin the stinger becomes so firmly anchored by the barbs that is cannot be withdrawn. The bee gets away, but the entire stinging apparatus is left in the skin, and the injured bee soon dies. Refelx action of the stinging apparatus drives the stinger even deeper into the skin and venom continues to be driven out of the venom sac. The stinger should be quickly scraped off with a fingernail or edge of a dull thin object. It should not be picked off, with this will result in squeezing the venom sac causing more venom to be injected into the wound.

Title Date
Honey Bee, European (Apis mellifera) 07/01/2015
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