You might see a bee buzzing around your kitchen window trying to escape when summer returns. He might seem foolish, but he is actually trying to fly through a sheet glass. Foolish? The cleverness of bees is so amazing that we still don’t fully understand them after all these centuries of study!
Efficiency experts create plans to run factories efficiently. The bee hive is a shining example of this since the beginning of time. There are three types of bees: the queen, who is the mother of all the members of the community; the male drones, who father the children but do not work; and the workers, who have many different tasks to complete. The first is the gathering of nectar, which is what the bees use to make honey.
The flowers contain nectar. A bee lands on a flower and then sucks the nectar through a tube into its special sac. Once the sac is full, the bee suckles the nectar into its stomach. It is then strained to remove any impurities before being returned to the sac. You will see that it is still nectar.
However, as the bees fly home, chemical reactions in its body transform the nectar into honey. The honey will be eaten by the bees. It depends on whether there is a honeycomb in the hive. If the comb is not yet built, the honey can be made into wax that is used as building material. These wax-producing bees can be seen inside the hive in large clusters near the roof. They need extra warmth to make the wax. It is deposited in tiny pockets in their bodies, and then they chew it so that it can be mixed with saliva in their mouths.
This is the building material they require. A lump of it is attached to the roof, and the honeycomb is constructed downwards. It is shaped into six-sided cells that are so consistent in pattern that they could have been made from a mold image. The comb is complete, and the bees have returned with honey that can be used for food. They are met by ‘policemen’ at the door to throw them out or kill them if they are not from the hive.
The worker bees wait to get rid of the honey and store it in a cell in the honeycomb. The forager bee immediately flew off to find more honey. The work continues hour after hour. How does the bee tell others about nectar-containing flowers it finds? A strange and fascinating “dance”, a flight that is in half-circles or circles, which in bee-language indicates the direction. The honeycomb cells are where the queen bee lays eggs.
These grubs hatch as grubs and are fed by the ‘nurse bees’ with diluted honey, which is a type of bee milk. After the grub is fully grown, it is enclosed in a cell with wax. It undergoes gradual changes that make it a young bee. It is ready to go out into the world by eating its way through the cell’s wax. If it is a baby queen, it is born in a special cell and gets the best attention. The whole process starts over again. The poor drones are not happy. The worker bees sting them to death and end their life of comfort. They are replaced by the next generation of drones, and they too will face a similar fate. Yes, bees live very efficient lives. They are also very ruthless!