By Candace Savage
The bee could have a mind the scale of a grass seed, yet in its short, five-week lifestyles it really works as a brood nurse, wax manufacturer, comb builder, honey maker, domestic shield, and floral forager. Bees: Nature's Little Wonders invitations readers to take a brand new examine creatures which are either accepted and wondrously extraordinary. It considers the range and biology of bees, together with their bizarre sociosexual preparations (pity the bad drone), their quirky relationships with vegetation, and their startling psychological talents: What are we to make of bugs that speak via symbolic dances? The publication additionally addresses the mysterious syndrome referred to as colony cave in disease and identifies possibilities for the conservation of pollinators. Enriched with cultural sidebars and complemented via a gorgeous selection of photos, Bees is a must-read for conservationists, gardeners, and everybody else who cares in regards to the international round them.
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Extra info for Bees: Nature's Little Wonders
The others are cavity nesters that build elaborate nests in caves and hollow trees or in the confines of a cozy apiary. The best-known member of the genus—indeed the best-known insect in the world—is Apis mellifera, a species so prized by humans that it has eclipsed all the rest and usurped the name of “bee” exclusively for itself. Originally native to Africa, the Middle East, and western Europe (from the Cape of Good Hope north, through savannahs, rain forests, and gardens, to southern Sweden and from the western Sahara east into Iran), the species is now found at temperate and tropical latitudes virtually around the world, thanks to the exertions of its human admirers.
As a group, honeybees are sleek little things, with slender bodies, elegant black or golden stripes, and an overall preference for tropical climes. Some, including several species of “dwarf” and “giant” honeybees found in Southeast Asia, nest on single, open combs attached high up in trees, protected by a shimmering layer of ever-moving bees. The others are cavity nesters that build elaborate nests in caves and hollow trees or in the confines of a cozy apiary. The best-known member of the genus—indeed the best-known insect in the world—is Apis mellifera, a species so prized by humans that it has eclipsed all the rest and usurped the name of “bee” exclusively for itself.
But if he succeeds in mating, his glory is also his doom. The queen tears away from him with his penis and viscera dangling from her rear, and the spent drone tumbles, dying, out of the air. The outcome is not much better for the drones that find their way home. By high summer, the nectar flow to the colony is declining, all the young queens have flown, and the males remaining in the hive find themselves apis non gratae. The workers, which up until now have tended their brothers with care, suddenly begin to harass them, by biting their bodies and plucking at their wings.