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In the Britain there are about 250 species of bees of which
- 225 types solatry bees
- 24 types of Bumblebees
- 1 type of Honey bee Apis Mellifera (sub species)
Honey bees are different from other bees in that they live in large colonies and have the ability to survive period of famine (winter) by storing excess food in the form of honey. Honey bees are unable to survey on their own and will die within a few days if it is separated from its colony.
A honey bee colony is made of
- A queen
- 200 - 1000 male drones in the summer
- 10,000 - 60,000 females workers depending on the time of year
The colony is at its largest in the summer months when there is the maximum amount of pollen and nectar available.
There is normally only one queen in the colony and her main job is to lay eggs (she can lay up to 2000 eggs a day) that will develop into new bees. She has longer body than the other bees in the colony and can live for up to five years.
The male drone bees only purpose is to mate with a queen. The live for about 40 days and by September they are ejected from the hive by the workers
The female worker bees live for 6 weeks during the summer (die from hard work) and up to 6 months during the winter. The tasks Workers perform varies depending on the age the following
- Clean the hive - Youngest Workers
- Feed larva
- Feed the queen
- Build comb
- Process and store nectar and honey
- Guard the hive enterance
- Forage for nectar, pollen, water and propolis - Oldest Workers