* Body hairy, marked with yellow and black, except for the hairless species Psithyrus.
* Wings translucent.
* Sting painful.
* Body length: 1/2-1".
* Habitat: Nests in or on the ground, sometimes in deserted mouse nests.
* Range: Throughout the United States and Canada.
* Behavior: Lives socially, in annual colonies that consist of a queen,
drones, and workers. All species collect the pollen except
* In the Catholic Church, candles once had to be made entirely out of
beeswax. Today, only 25 percent of the candle must be beeswax.
* Beeswax has its place in the history of art. The Greeks and
Romans modelled sculptures out of wax, as did Michelangelo. Madame
Toussaud, born in 1823 in London, took the art to an extreme
with her now world-famous wax museum.
* Originally in India and now in other areas of the world, wax
is used in the art of batik. Hot wax is applied in patterns to
fabric, and then the fabric is dyed while the wax acts as a resist,
preserving the design.
* In medieval times, beehives were kept behind the walls of
fortified cities, to be released over the wall if the city were
to be invaded. This strategy was employed by the German army
in East Africa during World War II.