are flying insects
closely related to
known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee
European Honey Bee
, for producing
. Bees are any of numerous hairy-bodied
including social and solitary species.
is an animal that moves pollen from the
male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a
. This helps to
bring about fertilization of the ovules in the flower by the male gametes
from the pollen grains. Insect pollinators include bees, (honey bees,
solitary species, bumblebees); pollen wasps (Masarinae); ants; flies
including bee flies and hoverflies; lepidopterans, both butterflies and
moths; and flower beetles. Vertebrates, mainly bats and
, but also
some non-bat mammals (monkeys, lemurs, possums, rodents) and some lizards
pollinate certain plants. Among the pollinating birds are hummingbirds,
honeyeaters and sunbirds with long beaks; they pollinate a number of
deep-throated flowers. Cycads, which are not flowering plants, are also
pollinated by insects. A pollinator is different from a pollenizer, a
that is a source of pollen for the pollination process.
is a fine to coarse powdery substance
comprising pollen grains which are male microgametophytes of seed plants,
which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat
made of sporopollenin that protects the gametophytes during the process of
their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from
the male cone to the female cone of coniferous plants. If pollen lands on
a compatible pistil or female cone, it germinates, producing a pollen tube
that transfers the sperm to the ovule containing the female gametophyte.
Individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see
detail. The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in
paleoecology, paleontology, archaeology, and forensics. Pollen in plants
is used for transferring haploid male genetic material from the anther of
a single flower to the stigma of another in cross-pollination. In a case
of self-pollination, this process takes place from the anther of a flower
to the stigma of the same flower.
is the process by which pollen is transferred to the female reproductive
organs of a plant, thereby enabling fertilization to take place. Like all
living organisms, seed plants have a single major goal: to pass their
genetic information on to the next generation. The reproductive unit is
the seed, and pollination is an essential step in the production of
in all spermatophytes (Seed
comprise those plants that produce seeds, hence the alternative name seed
plants. They are a subset of the embryophytes or
is pollination of a
flower or plant with pollen from another flower or plant.
is a technique used when natural, or open
pollination is insufficient or undesirable. The most common techniques are
for crops such as cucurbits, which may exhibit poor pollination by fruit
abortion, fruit deformity or poor maturation. Hand-pollination is an
option only on a small scale, but is a common technique by home and small
market gardeners, involving the transfer of pollen with an artist's brush
or cotton swab from male to female flowers. Sometimes the corolla is
removed from male flowers and the flower itself is brushed against the
stigmas of female flowers. The principal reasons for hand pollination
include a paucity of natural pollinators, avoiding cross-pollination
between varieties grown together or, conversely, in the controlled
production of hybrids.Mini drones
sporting horsehair coated in a sticky gel could one day take the pressure
off beleaguered bee populations by transporting pollen from plant to
plant, researchers said. Roughly three-quarters of
the world's flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world's food
crops depend on animals to pollinate them
, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Some of nature's most prolific pollinators are
bees, but bee populations are declining around the world, and last month,
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed a native species as endangered
for the first time.
List of Crop Plants Pollinated by Bees
A new study finds pollinators help
increase yields on
smallholder farms by nearly a quarter who grow food on plots of
five or so acres.
The annual value of global crops directly affected by
pollinators" ranges from $235 billion to $577 billion.
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
U.S beekeepers lost 44 percent of their total colonies from
April 2015 to March 2016
. Insects pollinate 75 percent of the
fruits managed honey
bee colonies has plummeted from 5 million
in the 1940s to about 2.66 million today.
person who keeps honey bees (i.e. practices beekeeping).Honey bees produce
commodities such as honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly,
while some beekeepers also raise queens and bees to sell to other farmers
and to satisfy scientific curiosity. Beekeepers also use honeybees to
provide pollination services to fruit and vegetable growers. Many people
keep bees as a hobby. Others do it for income either as a sideline to
other work or as a commercial operator. These factors affect the number of
colonies maintained by the beekeeper.
International Pollinators Initiative
The ABC Xyz Bee Culture
Bee SourceBee Keeper
of Bee Populations
Bee Removal Service
Marla Spivak: Bees Disappearing
Pesticides and Bees
Common Pesticide Damages Honey Bee’s Ability to Fly
are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to
nicotine.The neonicotinoid family includes acetamiprid, clothianidin,
imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam.
Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world. Compared to
organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, neonicotinoids cause less
toxicity in birds and mammals than insects. Some breakdown products are
also toxic to insects. Neonicotinoid use was linked in a range of studies
to adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee colony collapse
disorder (CCD) and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations.
is an external parasitic mite that attacks
the honey bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. The disease caused by the
mites is called varroosis.
D. Seeley Biologist
Bee declines driven by combined stress from parasites, pesticides, and
lack of flowers
High Number of Pesticides Within Colonies Linked to Honey Bee Deaths
Some compounds commonly regarded as “bee-safe” could be a major
contributor to honey bee colony losses in North America.
For about a decade,
Bees been dying off at
an unprecedented rate—up to 30 percent per year, with a total loss of
domesticated honeybee hives in the United States worth an estimated $2
Climate change killing bumblebees
What's killing bees
New clue emerges, winter die off
is a species of rod-shaped Gram negative bacterium in the
family Enterobacteriaceae. A human pathogen, S. marcescens is involved in
hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), particularly catheter-associated
bacteremia, urinary tract infections and wound infections, and is
responsible for 1.4% of HAI cases in the United States.
Winter Die Off
Do a bumblebee's hairs talk to the flowers?
It turns out that one
of the key functions played by the blanket of hairs on a bumblebee's body
could be to detect electric signals emitted by
a positive charge and flowering plants have a negative charge.
Bees wings flap 230 times a second which creates
Bees navigate using magnetism.
Bees can travel
several miles from their hives to get food, or nectar.
Bees keep the
hive a constant temperature using their body heat.
One gallon of honey
gives a bee enough energy to fly 2 million miles.
Some bees can fly as
fast as 45 mph.
is a sugar-rich
liquid produced by plants in glands called nectaries, either within the
flowers with which it attracts pollinating animals, or by extrafloral
nectaries, which provide a nutrient source to animal mutualists, which in
turn provide antiherbivore protection. Common nectar-consuming pollinators
include mosquitoes, hoverflies, wasps, bees, butterflies and moths,
hummingbirds, and bats. Nectar plays an important role in the foraging
economics and overall evolution of nectar-eating species; for example,
nectar and its properties are responsible for the differential evolution
of the African honey bee, A. m. scutellata and the western honey bee.
Nectar is an ecologically important item, the sugar source for honey. It
is also useful in agriculture and horticulture because the adult stages of
some predatory insects feed on nectar. For example, the social wasp
species Apoica flavissima relies on nectar as a primary food source. In
turn, these wasps then hunt agricultural pest insects as food for their
young. For example, thread-waisted wasps (genus Ammophila) are known for
hunting caterpillars that are destructive to crops. Caterpillars however,
do eventually become butterflies and moths, which are very important
pollinators. Nectar secretion increases as the flower is visited by
pollinators. After pollination, the nectar is frequently reabsorbed into
Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower's Hidden Treasure | Deep Look
is a sugary food
substance produced and stored by certain social hymenopteran insects. It
is produced from the sugary secretions of plants or insects, such as
floral nectar or aphid honeydew, through regurgitation, enzymatic
activity, and water evaporation. The variety of honey produced by honey
bees (the genus Apis) is the most well-known, due to its worldwide
commercial production and human consumption. Honey gets its sweetness from
the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has about the same relative
sweetness as granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for
baking and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it to
sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey, so
sealed honey does not spoil, even after thousands of years. However, honey
sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium
botulinum, which can be dangerous to babies, as it may result in botulism.
People who have a weakened immune system should not eat honey because of
the risk of bacterial or fungal infection. Although some evidence
indicates honey may be effective in treating diseases and other medical
conditions, such as wounds and burns, the overall evidence for its use in
therapy is not conclusive.] Providing 64 calories in a typical serving of
one tablespoon (15 ml) equivalent to 1272 kj per 100 g, honey has no
significant nutritional value. Honey is generally safe, but may have
various, potential adverse effects or interactions with excessive
consumption, existing disease conditions, or drugs. Honey use and
production have a long and varied history as an ancient activity, depicted
in Valencia, Spain by a cave painting of humans foraging for honey at
least 8,000 years ago.
bee member of the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production
and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests
from wax. Currently, only seven species of honey bee are recognized, with
a total of 44 subspecies, though historically, from six to eleven species
have been recognized. The best known honey bee is the Western honey bee
which has been domesticated for honey production and crop pollination.
Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the roughly 20,000 known
species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey,
including the stingless honey bees, but only members of the genus Apis are
true honey bees. The study of bees including honey bees is known as
European Honey Bee
is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is
formed into "scales" by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal
segments of worker bees, who discard it in or at the hive. The hive
workers collect and use it to form cells for honey-storage and larval and
pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly
of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.
Flow Hive: Honey on tap directly from your Beehive
We got a
Beehive Honey tap at work. It's super cool
is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by
mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows,
or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open
spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6
millimeters (0.24 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled
with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most
common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature,
20 °C (68 °F). At lower temperatures, it becomes hard and very brittle.
Hallucinogen Honey Nepal Mad Honey
Photo above is from Bees producing blue honey when collecting sugars from
the dumpster of an M&M factory.
is a monofloral honey produced in Australia and New
Zealand from the nectar of the mānuka tree. The honey is commonly sold as
an alternative medicine.
The Higher K-Factor
relates to a higher percentage of Manuka pollen grains.
or mānuka, is a species of flowering plant in
the myrtle family Myrtaceae, native to Australia and New Zealand. Grows
into a moderately sized tree, up to 15 m (49 ft) or so in height. It is evergreen, with dense branching and small leaves 7–20 mm long and 2–6
mm broad, with a short spine tip. The flowers are white, occasionally
pink, 8–15 mm (rarely up to 25 mm) in diameter, with five petals. The wood
was often used for tool handles.
sawdust imparts a delicious flavour when used for smoking meats