UNIT 3 (part b) Unit 3 - • Bee Types and Division of Labour : pages 49-53 • The Bee Nest : pages 75, 76, 78-82 • Seasonality and Life in The Hive: pages 57-59 • The Dance Language : pages 87-97 Bee Types and Division of Labour What is a Honey bee? Scientific name : Apis – originated from the Greek “oxen-borne bees” as they were believed to have come from cow/oxen carcasses. Aristotle believed that bees obtained their young from plants (reeds and olives) and deposited them in the beeswax combs – shows that ignorance to basic insect reproductive biology (spontaneous generation). Three adult types and three developmental stages within a hive . Adult types (castes) – • Queen (female caste) o Fully developed female whose functions are to lay eggs and produce chemicals that help to maintain and regulate the colony cohesion and reproduction. o Relies on other castes for feeding and grooming duties o Colonies consist of a single Queen who never leaves the colony (except when there are multiple newly emerged (virgin) queens present. o Lifespan 2-3 years • Drone (male) o Barrel shaped, larger than worker bees with large eyes o Haploid adult developing from an unfertilized egg § Development termed – parthenogenesis or haplodiploidy unique to hymenoptera o Lifespan ~1 month o Mate with virgin queens and otherwise do not work or assist in hive activities o Only active 2-4 hours when they leave the hive to mate, then die • Worker (female caste) o Monitors drones and expels them as the weather cools o Majority of adult population are worker bees o Lacing full development of reproductive organs o Smaller than queens with pollen baskets on hind legs
o Do not produce same pheromones o Going through stages of duties/behaviours as they age § Negatively phototactic when they emerge as adults and stay in brood area § Juvenile hormone levels build = workers perform hive duties as house bees § Feeding on pollen stores – hypopharyngeal glands in head completely develop to produce royal jelly. At maturity they are nurse bees, provisioning the youngest developing larvae with royal jelly; older larvae are fed pollen and diluted honey § Nectar provisioning , the next stage in worker bee performance to which they relocate near hive entrance to take partial honey-stomach load of incoming nectar from field bee. Nectar is deposited to quiet par of hive to begin active evaporation of the moisture from nectar (predigestion begins conversion of nectar to honey) § Active Evaporation: regurgitating honey stomach contents and blowing a series of bubbles (large surface to volume ratio favourable to water evaporation in the warm atmosphere of hive) to mix the enzyme sucrase into nectar. Nectar is sucked back into the honey stomach and this process is repeated for 20 mins. The ripening honey is deposited into an empty cell where passive evaporation continues moisture reduction. Once cells are consolidated, they are capped with beeswax.
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