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Video: Bee. Drone. Beneficial Insects. Breeding, Maintenance. A Photo
When we start talking about beekeeping, we usually associate this concept with honey or pollination of cultivated plants. And few people are interested in the main character - the bee, without which there can be no honey or pollination. But not every beekeeper can tell about the life of bees. Ivan Andreevich Shabarshov - the author of many books and magazine publications - is familiar with beekeeping firsthand. An experienced beekeeper, he perfectly knows not only the theory, but also the practice of beekeeping. For many years Shabarshov worked for the Pchelovodstvo magazine.
The bee has always attracted people's sympathy. Her lifestyle, hard work, skillful wax structures have been the subject of attention of naturalists, scientists, poets and thinkers for many centuries. I was captivated by the very sight of the bee - a beautiful body, graceful body, rare shades of clothing, slender strong legs, easy flight, sharp reaction. It is as if nature has combined its perfections in it. She did not deprive her of virtues either.
© Andrew Bossi
From time immemorial, the bee feeds people with honey, which is sweeter than there is nothing in the world, prepares wax for them, heals with poison, gives the most valuable medicinal and active biological products - propolis, royal jelly, pollen. The pollinator bee increases the yield of agricultural crops, and in many cases forms it entirely. The honey bee is the first among insects, rightfully worthy of admiration.
The bee is called a hard worker. It is really only made for work. In the process of evolution, the bee (except for the queen and drones) has lost the ability to produce offspring, to continue the race, although at the beginning of its evolutionary path, like all insects, bees entered into sexual intercourse, laid eggs and raised their own kind. Having lost the functions of a female, the bee developed working organs and a glandular system to a very high degree.
The bee is a vegetarian. She feeds on plant foods - nectar and pollen. She not only eats this food rich in carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins, but also stores it for the winter, since it does not hibernate during the cold season. Bees try to prepare a lot of food, because they live in large families.
The bee sucks up the nectar with the proboscis - a kind of pump, which it lowers to the nectaries of the flower. The length of the proboscis allows you to get nectar from almost any flower, including the long-tube one. The longest proboscis is the bees of the gray mountain Caucasian breed - 7.2 millimeters.
© Armin Kübelbeck
The nectar enters the honey goiter - a highly stretchable reservoir that can hold up to 80 cubic millimeters of sugary liquid, that is, by a mass almost equal to the mass of the bee itself. Its workload, as we can see, is very high. That is why families with 70-80 thousand insects each harvest a large amount of honey in a short period of flowering of strong honey plants.
To collect pollen, the bee has special devices, the so-called baskets, located on the hind legs. She compresses the pollen in these baskets, compresses it into lumps, which are reliably held in flight even in strong winds. During the flowering of plants that abundantly emit pollen - willow, dandelion, yellow acacia, sunflower, bees return to their nests with multi-colored pollen pollen. Up to 50 kilograms of this valuable protein feed are prepared by the family during the season.
The bee is irrepressible in labor. Having a little rest from the burden brought, she immediately hurriedly, literally like a bullet, flies out "from the wax cell" to get food. From morning to night in business. Only bad weather keeps it in the nest.
The honey bee "owns" many professions, it can be a builder, educator, nurse, cleaner, watchman, water carrier.
The bee flies great. All four wings set in motion powerful pectoral muscles. During flight, the front and rear wings, thanks to the hooks, are connected into wide planes, increasing the support area. In the air, without changing the position of the body, the bee can move in any direction - forward and backward, up and down, in any direction, soar in one place. Develops a flight speed of up to 60 kilometers per hour, successfully overcomes head and cross winds. All this allows her to quickly reach the source of the bribe and carry the load to the nest.
The bee's ability to navigate the terrain is amazing. This was demanded of her by life in the forest among thousands of trees. As soon as she flies out of the nest and inspects the surroundings, she remembers the area for the rest of her life. Everything is imprinted in her memory, like on photographic film. The bee is guided in flight by ground objects and by the sun.
The bee's senses are also well developed. The compound eyes, located on the sides of the head, consist of 5 thousand small eyes of high sensitivity, which allows her to clearly see objects and their color during flight, very quickly adapt to different illumination - bright sunlight and darkness of the hollow or the hive where she lives. Not everyone knows that a bee does not have two eyes, but five. In addition to the large complex ones, there are three more independent simple eyes located on the crown of the head, which also help her with orientation on the terrain and in the nest when finding flowers.
The bee is able to capture the subtlest odors. Its antennae-antennas contain a huge number of olfactory pits-locators and numerous very sensitive hairs. This helps her quickly find nectar in a flower, without spending time searching.
It can very accurately determine the difference in relative humidity and its temperature and react to these changes. That is why, long before the rain, bees try to return home as soon as possible. By the way, the bee knows how to determine the weather for the whole day ahead and even make long-term forecasts, in particular, prepare in advance for the harsh winter.
The bee has a sense of time. If flowers release nectar only at certain hours - in the morning or at the end of the day, then it flies towards them only during nectar release. The rest of the time he switches to other honey plants.
The so-called flower constancy is also inherent in the bee, that is, attachment to a certain type of plant, while they secrete nectar. The insect seems to get used to them. This behavior is very beneficial for plants, contributes to cross-pollination and high yields.
The bee also has a means of self-defense - poison: she uses it when she or her nest is in danger. However, the sting is fatal to the bee itself. Its sting is serrated, and the bee, after stinging, cannot pull it back out. It comes off along with the poisonous bubbles. The bee is bleeding without the ability to clot.
The bee does not live long: in summer - only 35-40 days, in winter - several months. Usually he dies in flight, giving all his strength to the good of his family
Honey bees are amazing insects. They are worthy of admiration and praise.
In addition to the worker bees and the queen, drones also live in the bee family - its male half. These are large insects with huge, almost full head, complex eyes, powerful wings, well-developed muscles. They are stronger than females. They fly at high speed, orienting themselves well in space.
Drones from the hive fly out in the middle of the day, in the warmest time, in sunny weather. Their bass is clearly audible in the air. After the flight, they rest, eat food prepared by the worker bees, and so on 3-4 times a day.
Drones do not do any work either in the nest or in the field. They do not build combs, do not feed larvae. They have neither wax glands nor milk-secreting organs for this. They also do not create the temperature in the nest necessary for the family. Even the proboscis of the drone is shortened, therefore, if suddenly there is no honey in the nest and the bees refuse to feed their parasites, although the flowers around them will release nectar abundantly, the drones will die of hunger - they will not be able to get nectar themselves, they will not be able to collect pollen. They "beg" food from the bees and take it from the cells themselves.
In contrast to other insects living in communities, drones - this strong half of the family - do not take part in the protection of the nest, or in the protection of stocks, or in the fight against enemies. They are devoid of stings and glands that secrete poison. Drones spend most of their time in the nest. Their only purpose is to inseminate queens. By the way, the queens also fly out to the mating meeting in the middle of the day, and only in the best weather.
The act of mating takes place in the air. Nature has endowed the drone with highly developed sense organs. In the complex eye of this insect there are 7-8 thousand small eyes, while the worker bee has only 4-5, and on each antenna there are about 30 thousand olfactory receptors, five times more than in a bee. Due to the extremely developed organs of smell for a specific smell - the volatile sex hormone that the uterus secretes in flight, the drones usually detect it far from the apiary and at a fairly high altitude, sometimes 30 meters from the ground. Since drones are not adapted to any kind of work, it is highly unfair to accuse them of laziness and idleness. After all, it was nature, in the name of prolonging the clan, that freed them from literally all the worries of the family.
This freedom, however, costs the drones dearly in the end. After the marriage with the uterus, they immediately perish without seeing their offspring. And those who could not take part in sexual intercourse, after the end of the breeding period, stop receiving food from the bees and are ruthlessly expelled from the nest. Disadvantaged, they starve to death.
Drones do not live long - two or three months. Bees hatch them in the spring and drive them out in the summer, more often immediately after the main honey collection, sometimes even earlier. They throw away all the drone brood. At the same time, each family of bees, obeying the instinct of reproduction, tries to raise more drones, sparing no food for them. Usually there are several hundred of them in a family, sometimes up to two thousand. Such a large number of males favors their quick detection of young queens in the air and guarantees mating. In addition, not one, but several, sometimes up to ten drones take part in the insemination of the uterus. Nature is generous and even wasteful when it comes to breeding.
However, in families where the uterus is old, infertile, there may be an unnecessarily large number of drones. Such families usually do not give honey. They can only be improved by changing the queens.
A lot of drones are raised by families where there are those that have not mated on time, that is, within three weeks from the date of birth (for example, due to bad weather), and weaned queens that have already begun to lay unfertilized eggs. Since such eggs end up in bee cells, small drones with an underdeveloped reproductive system are born from them. Although they are believed to be able to mate with the uterus, this is highly undesirable. The uterus receives an insufficient supply of sperm, its fertility decreases, and the quality of the offspring deteriorates.
Therefore, it is very important to have males from highly productive families in the apiary. They stimulate the hatching of drones, and males from weak families are caught with special devices - drone traps.
Drones are born from unfertilized eggs. They develop in wider and deeper drone cells for 24 days. Since they do not have a father, they carry the hereditary inclinations of a mother. If the uterus is of a Central Russian dark breed, then the sons will be dark, even if she mated with yellow Italian males. This is a feature of the biology of honey bees.