A social insect of Order Hymenoptera, which is characteristically known to have a yellow and black striped abdomen. These insects play a large economic role both in today's society, and in medieval times. Bees collect pollen to produce honey (used in medicine, brewing and cooking), and they live in hives made of wax.
- Female (fertile): queen
- Female (infertile): worker
- Male: drone
- Juvenile: larva
- Collective noun: swarm or hive
These little guys are awesome. Although not the most efficient flying insect of the times, it has extremely complex behavioural signalling, and thermoregulatory systems (individually and collectively). Their hives can be maintained between 24.5 - 27.5 degrees centigrade by the worker bees flying outside and beating their wings outside the entry to circulate air through the hive to cool it. All of the combs are exactly hexagonal, which is the strongest structure for their hive possible. All angles of the comb are precise. In all species of bee, there are only two sizes in which the comb comes in (most bee species produce the smaller comb).
As an interesting side note, honeycomb makes a lovely, chewy snack!