Bee, a flying insect that feeds on pollen and nectar gathered from plant blossoms. Bees carry pollen (a yellow dust containing a flower's male germ cells) from blossom to blossom. This enables flowering plants to produce seeds. The insect distributes pollen while collecting a flower's nectar—the sweet fluid that is made into honey. Bees are found in most countries of the world. There are about 3,500 species in North America and at least 10,000 species worldwide.Bees have a defensive organ called a stinger.
Some bees are social insects, living in colonies made up of many thousands of individuals, much the same as do ants, wasps, and termites. About 5 per cent of all the different kinds of bees are social. The remainder are solitary bees, living alone or in small family groups.
|Interesting facts about bees|
|Fossil bees found trapped in amber probably lived 80 million years ago.|
|The largest bee is Chalicodoma pluto, a mason bee about 1 1/2 inches (3.8 centimeters) long. The largest honey bee, called the giant honey bee, is about 3/4 inch (19 millimeters) long.|
|Size of a bee colony. A strong, healthy colony may contain between 50,000 and 60,000 bees.|
|The smallest bee is Trigona minima, a stingless bee only 1/12 inch (2 millimeters) long. The dwarf bee, the smallest honey bee, is under 1/2 inch (13 millimeters).|
|Speed. Worker bees fly about 15 miles (24 kilometers) per hour.|
|Taste. Honey bees can identify a flavor as sweet, sour, salty, or bitter.|
|A worker honey bee collects enough nectar in its lifetime to make about 1/10 pound (45 grams) of honey.|