What is a colony?
By biological deinition a colony is several individual
organisms of the same species living closely together, usually
for the mutual beneit of the group. Honeybees and ants are two
social insects that live in colonies.
For a colony of insects to be successful there must be communication. Bees and ants
both communicate by odors, movement and sharing of food. Ants leave a scent trail
as the foragers locate food sources for the colony. Honeybees dance to communicate
the direction and distance of the food source. The foraging insects bring back a taste
of the food source they have located to communicate the value of their ind.
The size of insect colonies varies from the type of insects to the time of year.
Honeybees and ants keep a suicient number in the colony throughout the winter
to keep the queen fed and the remaining colony members warm until spring. Food
has to be stored by the colonies and kept protected from predators. he queen
honeybee does not lay any eggs during the height of the winter season. Other
stinging insects such as the yellow jacket completely die of in the winter except
for the mated queen who hibernates through the winter and restarts the colony
in early March. Some insect control measures that are being studied in California
suggest that by trapping yellow jackets during early spring many queens are killed
thus stopping a new colony of yellow jackets from forming. If you have ever had an
experience with an underground yellow jacket nest you may appreciate the value
this trapping method. For more information about trapping yellow jackets visit
the honeybee colony only has 3 types of bees, the queen bee, worker bee
(females), and drone bees (male). Each bee performs duties within the colony that
beneit the entire colony. he queen bees’ only job is to lay eggs, which she does
very well by laying as many as 1500 eggs per day. The worker bees which are all
girls make up the majority of the population of the colony.Their duties began as
soon as they emerge from their cell by cleaning out the cell and preparing it for
the queen to lay another egg in. The workers also perform what is called nurse
duties, which includes feeding the larvae after they have hatched. As the worker
bees mature they move into other roles such as storing nectar, pollen and water
that is brought in by the foraging bees. They will do housekeeping chores by
removing dead bees and any unwanted items that may have found their way into
the hive. The last role of the worker bee is to forage for pollen and nectar. he
drone bee does not work in the hive. His only job is to mate with other queen
bees that have hatched and are on their mating lights. Once the male bee has
mated with a new queen he dies and does not return to the hive. For the benefit
of the colony the male bees are not allowed to winter in the hive and are forced
out in late fall to starve or freeze to death.
For comments or questions you can email me at Opabees@gmail.com. Bee Friendly!