Apis mellifera
Family Apidae

* Body thick, marked with yellow and brown.
* Eyes hairy.
* Body length: 1/2-1".

Natural History:
* Habitat: Manmade beehives or hollow trees.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Behavior: Honeybees emit a characteristic buzz and feed on the nectar of flowers such as clover and apple blossoms. Their social order is rigid and effective; each hive has a queen, who lays eggs and is the largest bee, workers, the most abundant members of the colony who harvest nectar, and drones, who serve the queen.
* Native.

* Honeybees are extremely valuable insects whose honey and beeswax provide the livelihood for thousands of people. Orchard owners often introduce bees to their orchards, because the insects increase the clover and fruit tree seed yield and therefore the orchard's productivity.

* Honeybees have also been celebrated throughout history. Drawings dating from 6,000 years ago in the Cave of the Spiders near Valencia, Spain, show honey hunts. To ancient Moslem and Indo-Malaysian cultures, and the Buriat tribe of Siberia, the soul is symbolized by a bee. In certain African tribes the bee is also a symbolic token; membership in a tribe confers the ability and power of a person to control bees. And Napoleon adopted the bee as his emblem - it can be see decorating all royal garments and products of his era.

* Honeybees communicate through a language of dance, sound, and smell. A worker returning to a hive can tell the others about a new place to gather nectar; through a dance, he indicates the direction of the place and its distance from the hive. By smelling him, the other bees can determine the type of flower.


Created by: Niki Zhou and Carla Holleran
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: June 25, 2004
Last Modified: August 7, 2004
Expries: June 1, 2005