By Candace Savage

ISBN-10: 1553653211

ISBN-13: 9781553653219

The bee can have a mind the scale of a grass seed, yet in its short, five-week existence it really works as a brood nurse, wax manufacturer, comb builder, honey maker, domestic defend, and floral forager. Bees: Nature's Little Wonders invitations readers to take a brand new examine creatures which are either primary and wondrously ordinary. It considers the range and biology of bees, together with their unusual sociosexual preparations (pity the negative drone), their quirky relationships with plants, and their startling psychological talents: What are we to make of bugs that speak via symbolic dances? The e-book additionally addresses the mysterious syndrome referred to as colony cave in illness and identifies possibilities for the conservation of pollinators. Enriched with cultural sidebars and complemented through a gorgeous selection of photographs, Bees is a must-read for conservationists, gardeners, and everybody else who cares in regards to the international round them.

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Extra resources for Bees: Nature's Little Wonders

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Some are fertilized, or diploid, and carry a double set of chromosomes, while others are unfertilized, or haploid, with only a single set. Thanks to one or more youthful mating excursions, the queen carries a lifetime supply of sperm (gleaned from as many as twenty males) inside a spherical organ called a spermatheca. The queen has the option, with each egg she lays, of dispensing sperm from this store or holding it back. This simple yes-no decision determines the sex of her o¤spring: fertilized for female, unfertilized for male.

The Queen Considers · · · What did Lindauer see when he peered through this magic window into the bees’ private world? A whole lot of insects running around in every direction. indd 36 5/12/08 1:25:02 PM bee s at h o me confusing, teeming mass of thousands of bees? ” The heart of the whole operation is, of course, the queen, and if you search the frames of the observation hive patiently, you’ll eventually locate her, walking slowly, even majestically, across the honeycomb. She looks more or less like a regular bee—a little bigger, with a longer abdomen and, sometimes, a paler, honey-gold hue—but what really sets her apart from her hive-mates is the way that they treat her.

From then until her death in a thunderstorm twenty-five days later, he sat and watched her for hours (sometimes into the night), patiently timing her activities with a stopwatch. On the whole, as he later reported, she followed the developmental sequence that Rösch had described, beginning by cleaning cells in the area of the hive in which she herself had emerged and later focusing her energies on feeding larvae. From the outset, however, her behavior also proved to be remarkably flexible. On the eighth day of her life, for example—when she “should” have been exclusively engaged in nursing young—she also found time to clean cells, cap pupae, build comb, and generally pitch in wherever she was needed.

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Bees: Nature's Little Wonders by Candace Savage


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