Honey bee: description of insects, detachment and breeds, diseases and benefits

Honey bee: description of insects, detachment and breeds, diseases and benefits

People have been raising honey bees for tasty and he althy honey since ancient times. Also, these insects serve as a source of wax, poison, propolis, bee bread. They are considered social insects that live in groups. Each bee colony includes a queen, drones, and workers. They differ in structure and function. However, all individuals are interconnected and unable to exist separately.

Description and structure

The body of a honey bee includes several components:

  • head;
  • abdomen;
  • chest.

Bees are characterized by the presence of 2 compound eyes and 3 simple ones. The first are located on the sides of the head, and the second - on the crown. The head contains the tentorium, or internal skeleton. Muscles are attached to it, which are responsible for turning the head, jaw, and proboscis.

The role of the support is played by the exoskeleton, which is called the cuticle. Inside are hairs that provide protection from pollution and perform tactile functions. All elements of the body are fastened with elastic membranes.

Life cycle

Features of the life cycle of bees depend on the caste. So, the queen lives up to 7 years, worker bees - 8 weeks, and drones - no more than 5.

Queen Bee

With the advent of spring, the uterus begins to lay eggs. After 3 weeks, the larvae hatch from them. Worker bees feed them for 1 week.After that, the larva is sealed with wax and becomes a pupa, and then an adult. After 12 days, an imago appears. This term refers to insects that differ from adults in soft covers. Such individuals feed the brood and clean the hive.

The main function of the uterus is to replenish the hives with brood and increase the size of the family. She can leave the house only during swarming.

Worker bees

These individuals clean the house from pollution, provide feeding for brood and drones. On the 16-20th day of life, some individuals process nectar into honey. After 20 days from the moment of birth, the bees fly around and remember their hive. Each time they increase this distance.


These males are characterized by the absence of a sting and large size. Their main task is the fertilization of the uterus. As soon as this happens, the male falls and dies. Because the life cycle of drones is different. From the brood, significantly more individuals appear than required. Therefore, weakened or extra male bees are expelled.


A bee colony can include 10-15 thousand individuals. However, sometimes this figure can be significantly higher. Worker bees form nests in their houses. It is there that honey, pollen, nectar, and brood are stored.

In the central part of the nest is the brood. The optimal temperature regime is constantly maintained there, which is required for the full development of eggs.The stronger the bee colony, the larger the volume of the nest. In this case, the temperature values at the edges and in the center are more different.

There are wax honeycombs around the nest. A he althy bee colony should have a clean, dry and pleasantly scented nest.

Behavior in the apiary and in the wild

Spring begins a rapid process of reproduction. Bees fly out of the hives and collect nectar from primroses. The bee colony is preparing for swarming. A number of insects will leave the hive with a new queen.

When a new swarm separates, an experienced beekeeper catches it and places it in a new hive. Thus, it is possible to increase the number of honey families storing nectar for the winter.

Summer is considered a period of active honey collection. It starts in May or mid-June and lasts until the end of autumn, as long as there are flowers. In autumn, bees begin to actively store honey, warm houses and prepare for winter.The beekeeper must ensure that the bees are he althy. It is also important to clear the hives of debris.

In a dry or hungry year, it is imperative to feed insects with syrup or sugar. If this is not done, the threat of population death is high.


Bee colonies begin to swarm in April or May - with the advent of heat. This is how they reproduce. In a small room, families swarm much more often than in a spacious one. As long as the brood is developing normally and the workers are feeding the larvae, there is no swarming. It begins at the moment of accumulation of a large number of bees. If the insects are nutrient rich, there will be no swarming.

To avoid starting this process, it is recommended to do the following:

  • move the insects to a cool place;
  • get the bees to feed the brood;
  • transfer insects to intensive summer work;
  • pour a lot of sugar syrup for processing.

Thanks to timely measures, it will be possible to push back the swarming process or avoid it altogether. At the same time, an excess of nutrients is also undesirable - it will provoke this process.

Common Breeds

Honey bees are part of the order Hymenoptera. The most requested breeds are:

  1. Mountain Gray Caucasian - different gray-silver color, slight tendency to swarming and lack of aggression. These bees are considered to be very industrious. They collect a lot of honey even from bad honey plants. At the same time, representatives of this breed cannot boast of strong immunity to diseases or frost.
  2. Ukrainian steppe - such bees winter well, are diligent and have productive queens. Individuals have a tendency to swarm, are moderately aggressive and hardly accept other queens. Representatives of this breed have a gray color. However, there are also individuals with yellow stripes.
  3. Carpathian - has a friendly character and high productivity. Additional advantages include resistance to frost and disease. In addition, these bees do not have a tendency to swarm. Such individuals collect a lot of honey even in adverse conditions. They are able to easily switch to other plants.

Maintenance and Care

To be successful in breeding bees, it is important to provide them with the right care. There are many factors to consider when doing this.


For the correct choice of the location of the apiary, you should follow these rules:

  1. The place should be quiet and protected from gusts of wind and direct sunlight.
  2. Hives should be sloping to the south. This will provide enough light.
  3. The apiary is placed away from highways, large reservoirs, industrial facilities and farms.
  4. There should be many plants around the apiary that provide nectar. However, they should differ in flowering time.
  5. The apiary and 2-3 kilometers around it should not include stable foci of diseases.

Building a house

Beehives can be bought or made by hand using soft woods. It is important to open the structures with a special lacquer paint, which will provide protection from moisture and help you find your home faster. The optimal colors include yellow, green, blue.

Spring care

When the temperature reaches +8 degrees, it is recommended to move the hives outside and transplant bee colonies with whole frames into new housing. In this case, it is required to print a honey pergo frame. Honey in the hive should be at least 8 kilograms.

Old houses are recommended to be repaired, cleaned and disinfected. If the apiary is located in a place where there is no bribe in the spring, after 30 days it is recommended to add honey and bee bread. Of no small importance is the insulation of the hive.

During summertime

During this period, it is required to monitor the swarming process and take only the first swarm from the hive. It is recommended to collect it with a scoop and a swarm. If individuals do not want to move into the swarm, they can be driven there with the help of smoke. If necessary, it is required to remove extra queens from the swarm or vice versa to plant them. Filled magazines need to be cleaned and put back in order for the insects to drain the frames.They are removed by the end of summer.

In autumn time

Before wintering, it is important to check the quality and quantity of honey for the presence of honeydew. To do this, it is recommended to take samples and send them to laboratory tests or do it yourself. If honeydew is detected from the combs, honey should be removed and stored for use as a spring top dressing.

In place of the frame, it is worth installing a frame with high-quality honey or sushi. Sugar syrup can also be used as a top dressing. At this time of the year, it is recommended to replace old queens with new ones. Of no small importance are the warming of the hives, their treatment from varroatosis and preparation for wintering.

In wintertime

At this time, it is important to maintain the temperature regime at a level of at least 0 … +4 degrees. At higher parameters, increased ventilation of the space is required. The optimum humidity is 80%. At the same time, the room itself should be dark.

Wintering bees require complete rest and absence of rodents. You can use a wire to clean the notches. This procedure is carried out with an interval of 30 days. Sometimes it is recommended to inspect the dead for the presence of pathologies and parasites.


For reproduction, the queen in the air mates with the drone. After that, the males are immediately kicked out of the hive, which leads to their death. Once every 30 days, the queen bee lays about 1500 eggs. Some uterus live up to 6-7 years. In this case, they can lay up to 3 million eggs in their lifetime.

Benefits of honey bees

These insects bring honey, which people eat, and also use in medicine and cosmetology. In addition, when breeding bees, you can get royal jelly, wax, propolis, perga and bee venom. The listed bee products are considered natural antibiotics that can be used for medical purposes.

In addition, the benefits of bees are associated with the pollination of entomophilous plants. This contributes to increased yields and seed production.

Honey herbs for bees

Not all plants are suitable for collecting pollen and nectar. The most common honey crops include:

  1. Cereals and fodder - buckwheat, clover, sweet clover. The bees also collect honey from sainfoin and seradella.
  2. Medicinal - These include sage, mint, thyme. In addition, bees use coriander and oregano to collect honey.
  3. Oilseeds - effective honey plants include sunflower, tobacco, chicory, rapeseed, mustard.

Diseases and their prevention

The most common honey bee pathologies include:

  1. American foulbrood - This disease often affects larvae.
  2. Ascopherosis is a fungal pathology that provokes the death of larvae.
  3. European foulbrood - also affects larvae.
  4. Sack brood - is a quarantine infection that affects the brood to a greater extent.
  5. Acarapidosis - a disease caused by a tick that affects the spiracle.

In order to prevent the development of pathologies, experienced beekeepers advise following these rules:

  • it is good to insulate the hives and provide full ventilation in them;
  • periodically inspect and replace nesting combs;
  • disinfect honeycombs and tools in the apiary;
  • after a bribe, increase young bees to improve families;
  • provide bees with quality food;
  • perform centralized extraction of honey;
  • choose strong bee families and exclude closely related relationships.

Difference from wild

Wild bees differ from domestic bees in their properties and appearance. They are considered more industrious and resistant to temperature fluctuations. However, wild individuals are much more aggressive. At the same time, they give better and he althier honey, since it has time to fully mature in the hollow. Every year the number of wild individuals decreases. This is due to the influence of anthropogenic factors that cause their death.

Honey bees are beneficial insects. They give honey and other products that have pronounced healing properties. In order for bee breeding to be successful, it is recommended to follow a number of rules and nuances.

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