The A to Z Challenge continues with the letter B! This time, I talk about bees. It’s springtime, so insects are now coming out. Bees are a very important part of our environment, since they pollinate flowers, and help us grow our plant crops. So, let’s take a look at the video.
Here are the facts, which I mentioned in the video.
- There are around 20,000 known species of bee.
- The smallest bees are stingless bees that are only 2 mm in length.
- The largest bees are the Wallace’s giant bee, a kind of leafcutter bee that grows to 39 mm in length.
- Although collection of honey by humans dates back 15,000 years, beekeeping didn’t begin until 4,500 years ago in ancient Egypt.
- A bee’s mouthparts are adapted to both chew and suck, having both mandibles and a proboscis.
- The explosion of flowering plants 120 million years ago did not coincide with the appearance of bees, which have been around for 100 million years ago, evolving from a type of wasp.
- A third of our food supply depends on pollinators, most of which are bees.
- Honey isn’t the only thing humans eat. In some countries, the larvae are also eaten.
- The decline in bees has been a major worry in recent years, and has been linked to various problems such as pesticides, loss of habitat, and climate change.
- It was once said that a bumblebee’s flight was impossible. We now know that the short wing strokes, rotation of the wings, and rapid wing-beats result in sufficient lift. They’re not impossible fliers anymore.
Coming up tomorrow is the letter C. It’s going to be another biological topic. Check back tomorrow!