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Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the European Honey Bee, for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species.

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Bee Pollinator is an animal that moves pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a flower. 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 birds, 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 plant that is a source of pollen for the pollination process.

Pollen 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.

Pollination 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 Seeds in all spermatophytes (Seed Plants or Spermatophyte comprise those plants that produce seeds, hence the alternative name seed plants. They are a subset of the embryophytes or land plants. Plant Breeding - Pruning - Grafting - Propagation

Cross-Pollination is pollination of a flower or plant with pollen from another flower or plant.

Hand Pollination 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.

Tiny Robots to move and think like insects (cornell)

List of Crop Plants Pollinated by Bees (wiki)

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.


Bee Keeper Beekeeper is a 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.

Backyard Beekeepers
International Pollinators Initiative
Bee Culture
The ABC Xyz Bee Culture (amazon)
Mason Bee
Bee Source

Bee Keeper Tools
Bee smoker
Cloake board
Hive frame
Honey extractor
Honey super
Jenter kit
Queen excluder

National Map of Bee Populations

Bee Removal Service

Marla Spivak: Bees Disappearing (video)

Pesticides and Bees
Common Pesticide Damages Honey Bee’s Ability to Fly
Neonicotinoid 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.
Vanishing Bees
Pesticides (body burden)
Varroa destructor is an external parasitic mite that attacks the honey bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. The disease caused by the mites is called varroosis.

Stealing Bees

Bee Informed

Thomas 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 billion.
Climate change killing bumblebees

What's killing bees New clue emerges, winter die off (youtube)

Serratia Marcescens 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 Cluster
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 flowers.

Bees have a  positive charge and flowering plants have a negative charge.
Bees wings flap 230 times a second which creates air vortices that creates lift.
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.

Nectar 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 the plant.

This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower's Hidden Treasure | Deep Look (youtube)


Honey Cones Honey 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.

Honey Bee is any 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 melittology.

European Honey Bee

Beeswax 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 (youtube)

Propolis 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 (youtube)

Blue Honey
Photo above is from Bees producing blue honey when collecting sugars from the dumpster of an M&M factory.

Monofloral Honey is a type of honey which has a distinctive flavor or other attribute due to its being predominantly from the nectar of one plant species. It is stored and labeled separately so as to command a premium price. While there may never be an absolute monofloral type, some honeys are relatively pure due to the prodigious nectar production of a particular species, such as citrus (Orange blossom honey), or there may be little else in bloom at the time. Beekeepers learn the predominant nectar sources of their region, and often plan harvests to keep especially fine ones separate. For example, in the southern Appalachians, sourwood honey, from a small tree that blooms late in the season, is highly regarded. Beekeepers try to remove the previously produced dark and strong flavored tulip poplar honey, just before the sourwood bloom, so it doesn't mix with the lighter sourwood. During sourwood bloom, there is little else for the bees to forage.

Mānuka Honey 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.

Leptospermum scoparium 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. Mānuka sawdust imparts a delicious flavour when used for smoking meats and fish.

A Taste of Honey is Worse than none at All, I don't think so. I would rather have a taste of honey than always wondering what honey would have tasted like. Saying that once you have a taste of honey you would always want more, and that desire would
torment you
, but only if you let it. Missing something doesn't have to be bad. Just because you don't have something anymore, this doesn't mean that you should cry about it the rest of your life. I will always remember honey and I would like to have some more honey someday again, but there's so many other things in life to enjoy, so I would rather enjoy all the other things and not worry about the things that I don't have anymore. And if honey did come back, I would definitely not mind having another taste of sweet sweet honey. But only as long as I can still control myself and not let the honey turn into an obsession, because that would be a waste of good honey.

I Second That Emotion - Smokey Robinson (youtube)

The Thinker Man