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Honey Bee
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Honey Bee

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Apidae

Pest Status: Honey bees are an extremely valuable insect, not only because they have been domesticated and produce honey and wax, but also because they are efficient plant pollinators.

Appearance: Honey bees are about 1/2-inch long and have brown, hairy, yellow-striped abdomens.

Life Cycle: Bees are social insects. Eggs are laid singly in cells in a wax honeycomb that is produced by the worker bees. Larvae are initially fed with jelly produced by the worker bees, but they eventually switch to honey and pollen. The larvae undergo several moltings before spinning a cocoon and pupating. Drones hatch from unfertilized eggs and females hatch from fertilized eggs.

Where to Collect: Honey bees can be easily found around flowers and flowering trees. Beekeepers raise them in artificial hives by the thousands.