Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wildlife Wednesday - bee

This is a bee. Just the ordinary garden variety bee sitting on a rock in a park (okay, I snuck out of my backyard again...but I was playing with my nephew and couldn't resist this photo with the sun highlighting the bee...and I had to give a little lesson to my nephew who was panic-stricken that the bee would attack him. NB No bees or nephews were injured making this post!).

From Wikipedia:
Bees are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.

Bees are adapted for feeding on nectar and pollen, the former primarily as an energy source and the latter primarily for protein and other nutrients. Most pollen is used as food for larvae.

Bees have a long proboscis (a complex "tongue") that enables them to obtain the nectar from flowers. They have antennae almost universally made up of 13 segments in males and 12 in females, as is typical for the superfamily. Bees all have two pairs of wings, the hind pair being the smaller of the two; in a very few species, one sex or caste has relatively short wings that make flight difficult or impossible, but none are wingless.

The best-known bee species is the European honey bee, which, as its name suggests, produces honey, as do a few other types of bee. Human management of this species is known as beekeeping or apiculture. 

One of my favourite Aussie authors, Helene Young, is a beekeeper (or was, because she's sailing and there are no bee hives in the ocean!)

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