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The Honey Bee: The Most Significant And Most Studied Insects Ever

1704 words - 7 pages

The honey bee is one of the most significant and most studied insects ever. This amazing insect and the products it produces dates back thousands of years ago and continues to be by far one of the most extraordinary creatures ever. Honey bees and the products they emit have many diverse uses in cultures around the globe. Today honey bees are being used in research to detect drugs, bombs and cancer. Also in developing treatments for an array of infirmities in humans, but this is simply a few among many things that honey bees have contributed to the world. The most essential to humankind of all things that honey bees have bestowed is pollination. Many plants are unable to pollinate without the help of honey bees. Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male organ (anther) of a plant to the female organ (stigma) of a plant. Once this transfer of pollen has taken place a plant will then be able to bring forth fruit and seeds(bio09). Of all insect pollination honey bees are responsible for 80%. They pollinate over ninety fruit and vegetable crops worldwide (Kevin ). If the honey bee were to vanish from the world it would leave us with limited food selection and perhaps worse. Albert Einstein once said “If the honey bees become extinct, mankind will follow within four years.” To better comprehend how vital the honey bee is to our world we must first understand more about the honeybee itself. Honey bees have been around long before humans, they have traced back over 40 million years ago and have remained physically and socially unchanged for 30 million years (Winston). Honey bees are not native to North America and are thought to have originated in tropical Africa. They were most likely to have been brought here by Spanish and English colonists. Honey bees live together as a community called a colony. A colony entails of one queen, hundreds of male honey bees called drones and thousands of female honey bees known as workers. Honey bee colonies can reach up to 80,000 bees depending on seasonal changes and the overall health of the hive. Each one of these caste members are just as imperative as the other because each member is liable for certain tasks in order for the hive to function efficiently and grow. All three caste members go through four phases of development; egg, larva, pupa and adult. Honey bee eggs are laid by the queen in cells in the hive where they will go on to develop. Fertilized eggs can develop into workers or queens and unfertilized eggs develop into drones. When the egg reaches the larva stage it is fed royal jelly for three days. After the third day the larva will then be fed beebread a mixture of honey and pollen. Nine days after hatching the larva is fully grown and stops feeding, it will then spin a cocoon around itself and remain until the adult body structures are formed. Once it has been transformed into an adult, it is ready to emerge its cell. A queen is created at the decision of worker bees by feeding the larva only...

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