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Honey bee

A honey bee (or honeybee) is any member of the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of , colonial nests from wax. In the early 21st century, only seven species of honey bee are recognized, with a total of 44 subspecies, though historically six to eleven species are 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, which includes the study of honey bees, is known as melittology.

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Which came first: Honey or Wax? Neither!! Nectar came first. Honey bees collect pollen and nectar from flowering plants. The nectar is stored in a special stomach, connected to the real stomach by a small tube. enzymes in the oney bees' mouths help transform the nectar into honey. This conversion actually happens by evapouration of the nectar, whilst it is stored. Air ventilation caused by the bees' beating wings, and high temperatures cause the excess water to evapourate, making honey. So, honey bees make honey, we knew that, right? Of course, they eat honey too. But did you know that wen they eat the honey, wax flakes are produced in a scale-type form from glands on their abdomens. They then chew the wax, mixing it with more salivary enzymes, in order to soften it and use it for building their hives and honeycomb - which store the honey they make, and house their Queen Bee and her larvae! See these two links for more detailed explainations

Contributed by Sarah Joy Blankenship

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