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Easier - Bees are four-winged, flower-feeding insects.

They have enlarged hind f


eet, branched or feathered body hairs, and generally a stinger. Honeybees and bu
mblebees are the most common. Bumblebees are larger and stronger than honeybees.
Bees are beneficial insects because they produce honey and pollinate crops.
The honeybee is very popular. It has been adopted by at least sixteen states as
the state insect.
Harder - Honeybees (or hive bees) are in the animalia kingdom, the arthropoda ph
ylum, the insecta class, the hymenoptera order and the apoidea family. Beekeeper
s are sometimes called apiarists. Honeybees and bumblebees (apidae subfamily) ar
e social bees and live in colonies. Solitary bees make their own small family ne
sts.
There are 10,0000 - 20,000 species of bee including many wasplike and flylike be
es. Most bees are small from 2 mm (.08 inches) long to 4 cm (1.6 inches) long. B
ees and wasps are closely related. The main difference is that bees provide thei
r young with pollen and honey, while wasps eat animal food, insects, or spiders.
In addition, wasps have unbranched hairs.
Honeybees live in hives or colonies. A small hive contains about 20,000 bees, wh
ile some larger hives may have over 100,000 bees. Hives include one queen, hundr
eds of drones, and thousands of worker bees. The worker bees are female, but the
y do not breed. The queen bee is female and creates all the babies for the hive.
The drone bees are male and do not have stingers.
Bees communicate with each other about food sources using dances. The sounds fro
m the movement of the bees is picked up by the tiny hairs on the bee's head. Bee
s use the sun in navigation.
The honeybee's hive has cells made of wax. This is where the queen bee lays her
eggs. She can lay 1500 eggs in one day. When the larvae hatch, they are fed by t
he worker bees. The workers collect pollen and nectar from flowers. The pollen i
s used as a protein source and the nectar is an energy source. Some of the polle
n lands on the pistils of the flower and results in cross-pollination. This is i
mportant for some crops and flowers. The relationship between the plant and the
insect is called symbiosis.
Bees turn the nectar into honey. Workers must visit over four thousand flowers t
o make just a tablespoon of honey. Beekeepers must be very careful when they rem
ove honey from the hive. They try not to hurt the bees. The beekeepers give suga
r syrup to the bees to replace the honey that they take.
The "killer bee" is actually a type of African honeybee. In 1957, it was acciden
tally released in Brazil during a science experiment. It began to move north and
reached Mexico in the 1980s. It can now be found in the southwestern US. These
bees react very quickly, attack in large numbers, and swarm for long periods of
time.