The birds and the bees – As bees visit flowers to collect food, pollen from one flower sticks to the hairs on the bee’s body and gets left behind at the next flower. This helps the plants reproduce.
A man in Bangladesh uses smoke to subdue wild honeybees and a bush knife to cut the comb from a tree. During this harvest season, honey hunters will make about a third of their yearly income.
You can call me queen bee
Each colony has one queen. After she hatches, she goes on her mating flight and stores up to six million sperm in her abdomen. She will then lay 2,000 eggs a day, controlling whether the egg will turn into a female or male.
Commercial beekeepers, like Bret Adee in this photo, truck their thousands of hives all over the country to pollinate different commercial crops. Honeybees are responsible for bringing $15 billion to the U.S. economy.
A bee collects pollen in stiff hairs on her legs, known as pollen baskets. This will be used as food for developing bees. The nectar, which she sucks up through her proboscis, is stored back in the hive, where it evaporates into honey.
To bee or not to bee
Some beekeepers wear a full suit with gloves, others only a veil, and others no protective clothing at all. After a few stings, the body builds tolerance so the reaction becomes next-to-nothing.
Just like every other living thing, honeybees need water to survive. During the summer, a hive needs at least liter of water per day.
This photo shows pupae developing into adult bees. When 10 days old, bees secrete wax, which they then use to build honeycomb in perfect hexagons. Why the hexagon? It provides the most amount of space using the least amount of wax.