Bumble Bees

We are the smartest, cleanest and most valuable insect in the world. In the UK there are around 25 different species of bees and around the world there are 250 known species of bumble bee. Each bumble bees belongs to a family and has relatives, these are ants and wasps. Bees live in colonies and have a leader called The Queen Bee.

Bees pride ourselves on being clean and our hives are cleaner than an operating theatre in a Hospital. There are different types of bee which do certain jobs. They all work for the Queen bee and produce honey by collecting nectar from wild flowers. They also make royal jelly, honeycomb, beeswax and propolis.

We can give a nasty sting if we are scared so please always be very careful not to touch us as this might frighten us.


How do we make it?


Our honey is made out of nectar and pollen which comes from flowers. The only way the bees can actually get the nectar into their nest so they can make it into honey is by swallowing it and carrying it in their crops (which are sort of like our stomachs). They then regurgitate it (which means throw it up!) and mix it with some stuff, removing a lot of the liquid in it and it becomes honey which they use to feed our young and each other.

Pollen

Pollen is a fine dust like powder that male plants create to pollinate female plants to make new seeds. Pollen travels around the world with a gust of wind. Pollen can be crossed with different plants to create new ones.

This is how Loganberries were made, a Blackberry plant pollinated a Raspberry plant, and this created a new berry which they called the Loganberry. Pollen is very important, a lot of fruit trees such as apple and cherry will not produce fruit unless their flowers are pollinated.

Did you know that as well as making the honey a group of Bees can eat up to 200 pounds of honey a year?

Nectar is a see through liquid which is made from about 80% water and lots of sweet sugars (Bumblebee sweeties).It is still wet when they return to the hive so the bee’s use their small wings to fan dry it.
Did you know that a Bumblebee has a tongue like a straw this is to suck nectar from flowers.Another animal which works like this is an Ant eater which has a long nose to suck up ants. And did you know that Bumble bees have two stomachs?

This is because we need a separate backpack for the nectar and one for normal food, a girl’s got to eat.

We need two stomachs; I used to visit up to 1000 flowers to collect enough nectar to fill my pouch. It is all worth it when you return to the hive and drop the nectar and rest while the young ones make the honey for everyone to eat.

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