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Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families,[1] though many are undescribed and the actual number is probably higher. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants. The smallest bee is Trigona minima, a stingless bee whose workers are about 2.1 mm (5/64") long. The best-known bee species is the European honey bee, which, as its name suggests, produces honey, as do a few other types of bee. Bees are the favorite meal of Merops apiaster, the bee-eater bird. Evolution Bees, like ants, are a specialized form of wasp. Eusocial and semisocial bees Honey bees defend against wasp attacks Bumblebees Stingless bees

Conserving Bees - International Bee Research Association Conserving our bees by Robert Paxton The title of this article, reflects a growing awareness and interest in the demise of the world's wild bees, and the impact this may have on other wildlife, ecosystems (including agroecosystems) and the world's economy. The Red Data Book contains a high percentage of the bee species considered to be under threat. Many bee species appear threatened with extinction, with the general consensus of opinion falling on humans as the culprits, through their degradation and destruction of habitats. I see three major arguments for the conservation of wild bees, namely: Bees are of conservation value in their own right, as a component of the world's biodiversity.Bees are important components of natural ecosystems and play a big role in their functioning. Bees for bees' sake There is a need to know which species are rare, and which are changing in abundance. Bees and the wider wildlife Bees and agriculture References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Bees: pictures, information, classification and more Bee Photo by:Dorling Kindersley Bee, common name for a winged, flower-feeding insect with branched body hairs. CharacteristicsBees are dependent on pollen as a protein source and on flower nectar or oils as an energy source. Adult females collect pollen primarily to feed their larvae. Most bees have specialized branched or feathery body hairs that help in the collection of pollen. There are about 20,000 species of bees worldwide. Social Structure and Nesting HabitsBees have diverse nesting and social habits. Solitary BeesThe primitive bees, like their relatives the wasps, are solitary. More about Bees...

Bee Genes May Drive Them To Adventure That honeybee lazily probing a flower may actually be a stealth explorer, genetically destined to seek adventure from birth. ADVENTUROUS BEES Honeybees that scout out new food sources (such as this tagged bee above) have biochemical signatures in their brains that suggest scouts are more adventurous than hive mates who aren’t scouts. Courtesy of Zachary Huang Bees who consistently explore new environments for food have different genetic activity in their brains than their less-adventurous hive mates, scientists report in the March 9 Science. “This is an exciting paper that raises a lot of interesting questions,” says neurobiologist Alison Mercer of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Beekeeping in cities It's about keeping bees in an urban setting. This may mean a small garden, roof terrace, or an allotment. Beekeeping doesn't need to be the reserve of the country folk and you don't need a huge amount of space to keep them. It is possible to have bees in the city and you know what... the honey is gorgeous because our urban honeybees have such a variety of plants and flowers to choose from. Each of the city gardens are as unique as their owners and the bees just love the variety. Skip to top Honeybees have been having a hard time. Bees seem to do well in an urban environment where there is a rich diversity of plants, flowers and trees in our gardens, railway sidings, roads and disused pieces of land. They are also a great way to reconnect urban dwellers with nature. We need more green spaces in our cities and becoming a beekeeper is part of a growing movement to green our cities. Although not scientifically proven, local honey is also said to cure hay fever. Bees are not like a dog.

Bee Species Outnumber Mammals And Birds Combined Scientists have discovered that there are more bee species than previously thought. In the first global accounting of bee species in over a hundred years, John S. Ascher, a research scientist in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, compiled online species pages and distribution maps for more than 19,200 described bee species, showcasing the diversity of these essential pollinators. This new species inventory documents 2,000 more described, valid species than estimated by Charles Michener in the first edition of his definitive The Bees of the World published eight years ago. "The bee taxonomic community came together and completed the first global checklist of bee names since 1896," says Ascher. "Most people know of honey bees and a few bumble bees, but we have documented that there are actually more species of bees than of birds and mammals put together."

7 Tips for a Bee-Friendly Habitat Planting a bee garden is becoming increasingly important as across our planet, bees are thought to be suffering increased stress as a result of global warming, and the effect that this has on flowering times and nectar availability. It will take many generations of bees to evolve into stronger colonies able to deal with the change in climate. We depend on the work of bees and other insects more than most of us realise; almost 70% of the food we consume relies on pollination from insects, and bees are a critical part of this army of fertilizers. Meanwhile there is plenty we can do to help. Whether we live in an urban area or deep in the countryside, we can actively encourage bees to thrive in the vicinity of our homes by creating a bee garden, however small that might be! 7 eazzzy tips for your bee gardenCreate a bee garden and plant bee -friendly flowers and shrubs. What plants do you plan to include in your bee garden? Suggested reading from the garden section of Natural Mothers Store

Grow a Medicinal Herb Garden; Help bees By Steven FosterThe Herb Companion Save time and money by stocking your backyard or windowsill gardens with five basic medicinal herbs. These superstars will treat common ailments such as colds and flu, inflammation, minor cuts, infections, pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, poor digestion and insomnia. Every medicinal herb garden should include chamomile, yarrow, lemon balm, Echinacea and peppermint. These five basics are safe and effective for the vast majority of people when used as simple teas, poultices or salves. Echinacea: Super Immune-Booster Echinacea products are among the top-selling herbs in health-food stores. The seeds of E. purpurea germinate readily, or plants can be easily propagated by dividing the roots. While most references suggest using Echinacea root for medicinal use, I make a tea of the fresh or dried flowers of E. purpurea: the chemical constituents of the flowers are similar to those of the root. Chamomile: Gentle Yet Powerful Yarrow: First Aid in the Garden

Queen Of The Sun: A Must-See Bee Documentary - Honeybees & Beekeeping A new documentary about disappearing bees, Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?, examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. According to its website, the film unveils 10,000 years of beekeeping and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees. From the makers of The Real Dirt on Farmer John, the film features Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, and Gunther Hauk as well as beekeepers from around the world who keep bees in natural and holistic ways. Instead of focusing on commercial beekeepers, the filmmakers say the documentary emphasizes the biodynamic and organic communities who have differing opinions from many commercial beekeepers about the causes and solutions of colony collapse disorder, the global phenomenon where honeybee colonies vanish from their hives. Wild and managed honeybee populations have been in decline for the last 30 years, according to the USDA.

Recommended Books For A New Beekeeper There is an old saying: if you ask five beekeepers what they think about something, you'll get six answers! Beekeeping is an art and a science, and there are countless ways to approach it. There seem to be equally many books on the subject. So where's a novice to start? When I first became interested in bees, I took a small group class. But its hard to know what you’re getting into after just one trip to the apiary, so reading is a great way to round out your knowledge. When choosing a beekeeping book, it’s helpful to consider what you hope to achieve with your bees. With those thoughts buzzing in your brain, take a look at our top five book recommendations for novice beekeepers! Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston is a great no-nonsense primer and a handy reference for any backyard beekeeper. Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, 2nd Edition by Ross Conrad. Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health by Les Crowder and Heather Harrell.