Honey Bee Anatomy & Biology

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Honey Bee
Apis mellifera
Anatomy & Biology
Honey Bee External Anatomy
• Three Body Regions
– Head, Thorax, and Abdomen
Head
• Compound Eyes
• Three Ocelli
– Simple Eyes
• Antennae
– Respond to Touch &
Odor
• Mandibles
• Proboscis
– Lapping up Nectar &
Other Fine Particles
Compound Eye
Mosaic Picture
Also in UV
http://www.naturfotograf.com/UV_flowers_list.html
Thorax
• Point of Attachment for
– Six Legs
– Two Pairs of Wings
Pollen Baskets
Abdomen
• Spiracles for Breathing
• Stinger/Ovipositor (Workers & Queen)
• Male Bees (Drones) do not have a stinger
Internal Anatomy
Nasonov Gland
• “Come Hither”
Pheromone
• Released by
Worker Bees to
Signal entrance
of hive or mark
flowers
Nervous System
Circulatory System
Stinger
Honey Bee
Biology
Complete Metamorphosis
Workers, Drones, & Queen
Worker Bees (Are all Female)
•
Worker Bee Life Cycle
– Hatching of egg: 3 Days
– Larva stage (Feeding): 5 days
– Pupa stage: 13 days
– From Egg to Adult: 21 days
Drones
• Mate with virgin queen. Die after mating
• ~ 17 Drones may mate with Queen during her
mating flight.
• Get “kicked out” of hive in winter.
Queen
• Mature female that received abundant
amounts of royal jelly while as larva
• Can live 2 – 4 years
• Can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day during
spring build up.
Metamorphosis of Queen Bee
– Egg hatches on Day 3
– Larva (several moltings)Day 3 to Day 8½
– Queen cell capped~ Day 7½
– Pupa~ Day 8 until emergence
– Emergence~Day 15½ - Day 17
– Nuptial Flight(s)~Day 20 – 24
– Egg Laying~Day 23 and up
Swarming
Eventually, the worker bees decide that
• the queen has become too old or
damaged
• Or that the hive is physically too small
So… They decide to make a new queen(s)
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