10 December 2010
Apis Mellifera: The Life of the Western Honey Bee
Who would think that an insect less than an inch big could be of so much importance to the human society? Throughout the history of mankind, the Western Honey Bee has proven to be of many uses to the human society. The study of the honey bee has shown the true intricacy and efficiency of their colony. Each member of the colony works together in a nearly flawless environment of productivity. For these reasons, and many more, the Western honey bee has proven itself to be one of the most fascinating and useful insects there has ever been.
In order to be able to understand the honey bee and its colony, one must first learn about the bee’s physical make-up. Similar to a typical insect, the Western honey bee can be divided into three major sections; these sections are the head, thorax, and abdomen. The first section, the head, is a very intricate part of the body. The head contains the eyes, antennae, and the mouthparts. The eyes are an intriguing feature, seeing as the honey bee has two different types of eyes. The first type is the two compound eyes. The compound eyes are more of the typical kind of eyes. These eyes can sense light and color, though the bee’s spectrum of color varies slightly from the human eye’s spectrum. The honey bee also has three simple eyes, which are called ocelli. The only known function that these eyes serve is to sense the intensity of the light (Dade 65). The two antennae also play a crucial role in the life of the bee. The antennae are the nose of the honey bee, allowing it to sense odors. Along with sensing odors, the antennae aid in their ability to taste. The mouthparts of the honey bee contain the mandibles and proboscis. The mandibles are jaws that help in chewing, grooming, and several other functions. The proboscis is similar to the human tongue in the fact that its function is to lick and...