Bees are a type of insect which has quite a similar appearance to wasps. Their main purpose in nature is to enhance natural pollination amongst flowers and plants. In addition to this, they take up nectar from flowering plants and convert it into honey which is consumed by humans.
They are scientifically categorized in the kingdom Animalia, class Insecta, and order Hymenoptera. Bees come in all sizes, ranging from under five millimeters, without even a stinger, to enormously sized bees such as the Megachile pluto, which are up to approximately forty millimeters in length. These insects are usually prey to other somewhat small insects such as the dragonfly.
The commonly known, the honey bee is a part of the genus Apis. They are known because of the nests they product. They give the best known for spectacular yields of honey as well as extremely large scale pollination.
Honeybees visit all kinds of flowers as well as pollinate various plant species but only one kind of honey bee is used for commercial pollination, which is the A. mellifera species. This species is used to commercially pollinate vegetable and fruit crops.
Due to this immense usage of specifical honeybees, ecologists are concerned about accidental spillage into the surrounding areas, which could create tough competition between honey bees and other types of bees present which could have devastating effects on the ecology of the area.
Bumble bees fall under the genus Bombus. They are mainly found in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as South America and generally tropical areas. Bumble bees are social insects. They form colonies of at least fifty individual bees and have a queen bee for each hive. They form comparatively smaller colonies as compared to colonies of honey bees.
Bumble bee bodies are generally covered from head to toe in hair, which gives them a soft, furry appearance. They have sharply contrasting colored bands around their round body. Other species of bumblebees may adopt the same coloring in order to seem dangerous to their predators.
Bumble bees can be differentiated from other bees such that the female hind leg is covered with hair and the pollen grains are stuck in between those hairs to make the transport of pollen grains much easier for the insect.
For feeding, they are naturally equipped with a long hairy needle-like structure which acts as a tongue which is used by repeated dipping it into the flower where the nectar is and lapping it up. They secrete wax from their abdominal glands. When it is created is bears resemblance to everyday hair dandruff.
Apidae is, by far, the most widespread family of bees. It contains fifty-seven hundred species of bees. The most commonly spotted bees are a part of this family, for example, bumblebees and honeybees. In addition to these two, carpenter bees, stingless bees, orchid bees, and cuckoo bees are a part of this family. They are responsible for natural pollination as well as commercial pollination of various crops.
This species of bees is known as mining bees. They reside in Europe, and North Africa and are most commonly seen through the months of April till July. Their main source of nutrition is pollen from the plant genera of Cruciferous vegetables.
Their pollen sources are the following plants:
- Brussels Sprouts
Cruciferous vegetables are part of the family Brassicaceae. Their flowers are marked with crosses, hence the name of Cruciferae, which means cross-bearing in Latin.
Description and Identification of Andrena agilissima bees:
These bees are known to be an oligolectic bee, which means that they take up pollen from only a few types of flowering plants. In this case, these bees take up pollen from plants in the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard plants as well as radish, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and many others, as listed above.
Adults of this species grow to be around thirteen to fifteen millimeters in length. The females are generally larger than males of the species. They have black bodes, with scattered white hairs on their faces and on the sides of their thorax and on their abdominal tergites. Their wings have a slight blue tint to them.
These bees are known for their attraction to sweat and are referred to as sweat bees. In the case that they are disturbed, they will sting, even if the sting is quite minor. They are usually green and red in color, but some with yellow colored markings have also been observed, especially in the males of this species.
These are the only kinds of bees that run on a nocturnal schedule, which means they come out in the early hours of the evening till dusk.
Unlike other bees that create nests in trees, this species nests underground or in wood. They lay eggs on large masses of pollen and the cell is then completely sealed, so the bee larvae are provided a large amount of food at birth.
These species are found in the Eastern United States, ranging from Minnesota to Georgia. It is mostly found in sandy areas and is also a type of sweat bee. It pollinates various plants such as the rattlesnake master and grass-leaved goldenrod.
Females of this species have unusually long, yellow colored legs and slightly tinted brown clypeus, a slightly yellow-brown colored metasoma and the rest of the body is mainly yellow such as the terga, head, and tomentum.
This species is a highly unsocial bee. A single female raises the whole brood herself and lives in the nest alone, a sort of queen bee. This family of bee can be said to follow eusociality which is a sort of organization in the animal world.
This divides the community into reproductive and non-reproductive animals in that set society. Certain groups are formed in a single community and they are prohibited from performing one function or the other.
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