BBC - Earth - The truth about bees
Flowering plants and bees share a mutualistic relationship, wherein flowers provide bees with food, and bees provide flowering plants with the. The symbiotic relationship between bees and flowers is a perfect example of Muir's interconnectedness. Both evolved during the Cretaceous. The relationship between bees and flowers constitutes a complex ELM were funded by grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the BBSRC.
Halictus poeyi and Agapostemon splendens Credit: We humans have been drooling over its honey and prospering from its powers of pollination for millennia. But our worship of this one species, understandable as it might be, is a sign that something has gone wrong.
It's the perfect example of our ruthlessly human-centric, overtly practical view of the natural world. There are actually around 20, known species of bee. The famous European honeybee Apis mellifera is just one of them. They come in a wide range of sizes. There are also plenty of bees that don't conform to the popular perception of yellow and black. The North American sweat bee Agapostemon splendensfor instance, is green and blue. Among the valley carpenter bees Xylocopa varipuncta of North America, the females are black and the males are yellow.
View image of Ashy mining bees Andrena cineraria are common all over Europe Credit: But there are around half a dozen other honeybees in south Asia that are similarly exploited.Pollination - the delicate balance between bees and flowers - Jennifer Leavey - TEDxGeorgiaTechSalon
Being social, all these honey-making species have evolved ways to communicate important information to the rest of the hive. Most famously, foraging honey bees perform a "waggle dance": It looks like this: Different species appear to have their own distinct "dialects" of waggle dance. But bees are so smart that when researchers coaxed Asiatic and European bees to inhabit the same hive, the Asiatic bees were able to translate the dancing language of the Europeans.
Bees and flowers - a wonderful relationship! - MyBeeLine
Sophisticated as the waggle dance undoubtedly is, bees of all shapes and sizes perform other feats of communication too. When a bee is foraging, it leaves behind volatile chemicals that act like sticky notes: Subsequent visitors use these cues to improve their foraging efficiency. On the subject of stinging, there are quite a few misconceptions. Most bee species have barbless stingers, so can attack with impunity For a start, it's only females that can sting.
That's because the stinger is a modified version of their egg-laying organ, the ovipositor.
- The bee, the flower, and the electric field: electric ecology and aerial electroreception
- Benefit for bees
One of the most famous mutualistic relationships in nature is the relationship between bees and flowering plants. This relationship allows bees to feed their colonies and plants to reproduce. Flowers provide bees with nectar and pollen, which worker bees collect to feed their entire colonies.
Bees provide flowers with the means to reproduce, by spreading pollen from flower to flower in a process called pollination. Without pollination, plants cannot create seeds. How Bees Benefit From Flowers Flowers benefit bees by providing them with all the food their colonies need, to survive.
With the exception of a few species, bees are social insects that live in colonies of between 10, and 60, individuals.
How many bees live in a single colony depends on factors such as the bees' species, the weather in their environment and how much food is available. Bees feed on the nectar and pollen of flowers. Nectar is a sweet liquid substance that flowers produce specifically to attract bees, birds and other animals. Pollen is a powder that contains the male genetic material of flowering plants.
The truth about bees
Worker bees bees whose job is to collect food for the colony land on flowers and drink their nectar. This nectar is stored in a pouch-like internal structure called the crop. In the process of doing this, bees become covered in pollen. The pollen sticks to the bee's hairy legs and body.
Some bee species even have sack-like structures on their legs for collecting pollen, called pollen baskets.