Sample Essay on Bee world

Bee world

The life of bees circles around their hive, which forms both their work place (factory) for manufacturing honey, and their habitat. In order for them to manufacture honey, they are compelled to gather pollen obtained from plants. Honey bees collect nectar from flowers during the summer season so that when winter comes, they would have enough in stock to see them through the season. As tiny insects as they are, bees have a lot going for them ranging from social, to political organization, making them one of the most organized and hard-working insects.

The process of manufacturing honey begins with collection of nectar from flowers. This task is executed by forager bees, normally slightly older than worker bees. These bees leave in groups in search for nectar from plants while the younger worker bees are retained within the hive to process the nectar into honey (Horn 37). The proboscis, long hairy tongues, of the honey bees aids them in reaching the nectar in plants which is often deeply embedded within the flowers. Once the nectar is sucked from the flower, it is stored in the bee’s special honey stomach. The bee’s honey stomach can contain a maximum capacity of an eye dropper; however, it would take the bee hundreds of flowers for it to fill up (Bosch, Jordi and Kemp 4).

Once the bees’ honey stomachs are full, the chemical process begins. The enzymes within the nectar are broken down by chemicals within the bee’s honey stomach. When they deliver the honey to the hive, the honey is tested by the younger worker bees to ascertain its quality and if it’s valid for storage as their food. Once approved, the younger worker bees begin the process of converting the nectar into honey (Bosch et.al.6). The nectar is first vomited on top of the honey comb cells which maintain the safety and dry status of the honey. The hard task of funning the cells can now pick up from this point. The task is executed by young honey bees, which flap their wings over the cells. In the process of funning, the water within the cells is evaporated leaving behind honey. Upon completion of their task to satisfaction, the honey combs are sealed using wax. This process could take a single bee between six and twenty-four hours to complete (Horn 46).

Election of the queen

Under normal circumstances, a honeybee colony would have one established queen whose primary role is to lay eggs. Election of a new queen depends on the occurrence of three major situations. The first situation would occur when the queen of colony went missing from the hive either by death, absence, or just wandering. Second case scenario would occur when the bees within the colony felt that their queen was either failing or growing old and thus need for replacement. The last case scenario would occur when the bees decide to swarm. Under these circumstances, the bees would have to elect another queen (Graham 75).

The process of election begins with selection of feminine eggs at random which are then transferred into queen cells (larger cells). The female larvae are nurtured with better food as compared to the worker larvae which helps them experience quick maturity in order to become queens. There after the cells are covered, a larva develops to cocoons which then transitions into queens. The first queen to emerge signals the others by creating a series of vibrations within the combs. The virgin queen then makes a tooting sound which is responded to by the sisters with a quack. The queen then tracks them in their respective cells and kills them. The new queen now has to await maturity for a few more days as she practices hot to fly, noting the hive’s location. The queen takes a flight in the process to the nearest drones for her only romantic adventure of her life. During this adventure, the new queen mates with several drones from other hives which then die on the spot (Graham 75).

Upon the new queen’s return, what follows depends on the purpose for which the queen was being elected for. For instance, if the purpose was swarming, then the mother will leave the hive with half of the available workforce, find another suitable site and set up their hive. The new queen will then begin her duty of laying eggs within a few days. In the presence of a virgin queen, or total absence of a queen, the worker bees would lay eggs however; the eggs will only give rise to drones due to unproductiveness of the eggs (Bosch et.al.6). In case the purpose for electing a new queen was to replace the old queen, the new queen, or the worker bees, or both may decide to kill her. Alternatively, both queens may live together harmoniously laying eggs until such a time that the old queen will expire naturally (Graham 77).

Roles of the worker bee within the hive

Most of the bees within the hive are worker bees. Just like the queen, worker bees are all feminine, smaller in body size, shorter stomach, and their hind legs contain pollen baskets used in the collection of pollen grains from the fields. These types of bees are in-charge of cell cleaning. They are also the undertakers within the hive. This implies that they are in-charge of removing the bodies of bees that pass out within the hive and disposing them as far away from the hive as possible. They also eliminate diseased or dead brood in order to avoid health threats that could result within the colony (Graham 86).

They are also in-charge of nursing the younger bees. These bees are responsible for feeding and taking care of the larvae that is still in the development stage. In a day, the nursing bees may check on a cell approximately one thousand three hundred times. The worker bees also attend to the queen aside from collecting nectar and pollen from the fields. Other tasks performed by the worker bee include fanning the beehive, production of bee’s wax for building of honey combs, guarding the hive, and eventually becoming field bees once they are halfway through their life expectancy (Graham 87).

Myths of the honey bee, how it got its stinger.

There are several myths revolving around bees and how they came into being and their possession of the sting. The general myth about how the honey bee came to possess their stinger. The myth implicates that in the early days when people were still pure and with the capability to communicate with animals, the creator would pay them a visit. The myth records that the people requested the creator for something that tested sweet. It was then that the creator sent the honey bee though without a stinger (O’Toole and Anthony 52). When the honey bee came down, it found a nice tree for setting up its hive for shelter, reproduction and production of honey. Before long, the people paid the bee a visit in search of the ‘sweet syrup.’ The bee handed each individual one full container of honey. The people ate all the honey gluttonously and went back to the bee for more (Cherry 17).

Unfortunately, the bee had no more left to hand over and as such, requested the people to wait for a little while longer.The people were unhappy with the bee as they desired for more of the bee’s ‘sweet syrup.’ The people then called upon the creator complaining that the bee did not perform well in delivering the sweet syrup demanding for more. The creator then sent down the flowers to aid the bees in production of honey. The flowers were soon spread all over the land which gave the bees’ greater access to nectar necessary for manufacturing of honey. The creator did not only respond by sending the people flowers, he also increased the number of bees (Cherry 18).

The beehive grew bigger due to the increase in number of bees. When the people saw this, they went for more of the ‘sweet syrup.’ The bees gave the people all that they had in store and spared a little for feeding their young ones. Upon finishing the much that was given to them, the people returned to the beehive to ask for more honey and the response was the same, “we don’t have any more left, you’ll have to wait” (O’Toole and Anthony 55). The people were annoyed and in turn asked those in charge of flowers to increase the production of flowers so that they could subsequently have an increase in the quantity of honey produced. The people were however told that all the flowers were produced and pollinated already and that they had to wait until spring for production of more flowers (Cherry 18).

The people didn’t want to listen. Overcome by their anger, they outrageously demanded for more. Since there wasn’t any more, the people went back to the beehive and tore it into pieces killing almost all the bees and grabbed the little that was left within. Angry at what had been done to them, the bees that survived asked the creator what they would do. The creator being disappointed and annoyed by the people, he asked the flower people to organize for the bees some briar bushes which were to be eaten by the bees. The flower people organized even for more briar which they gathered around the bee’s tree (Crane 71).

The bees followed the creator’s orders and ate from the briar bushes which were then translated into stingers. The following day, the people went back to the bee hive demanding for more of the ‘sweet syrup.’ The briars gathered around the bee’s tree scratched and tore them but as if this wasn’t enough, some people struggled till they made it to the bee hive (Crane 74). The people shouted at the bees demanding for more honey or else they would kill the few that were remaining and destroy their habitat completely. The bees overwhelmed by anger, they swam out of the hive and stung the people until they were all covered in welts which sent them running. From that day henceforth people started treating bees with some level of respect (Cherry 21).

 

Works cited

Bosch, Jordi, and W. P. Kemp. “Developing and establishing bee species as crop pollinators: the example of Osmia spp. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and fruit trees.” Bulletin of Entomological Research 92.01 (2002): 3-16.  Print.

Cherry, Ron H. “Insects in the mythology of Native Americans.” American Entomologist 39.1 (1993): 16-22. Print.

Crane, Ethel Eva. The world history of beekeeping and honey hunting. Routledge, 2013. Print.

Graham, Joe M. The hive and the honey bee. Dadant & Sons, 1992. Print.

Horn, Tammy. Bees in America: How the honey bee shaped a nation. University Press of Kentucky, 2005. Print.

Michener, Charles Duncan. The bees of the world. Vol. 1. JHU Press, 2000. Print.

O’Toole, Christopher, and Anthony Raw. Bees of the World. Blandford Press, 1991. Print.