The month of May has a few days that are big awareness days for conservation and endangered animals. On May 20th, one of the endangered but most important animals to be aware of is the Bees!
Bees are one of the biggest pollinators on our planet and there are more species of bees than birds and mammals combined! But that got us thinking, Wasps are related to bees and don’t pollinate, so what other types of bees are there and what do they do?
Where are bees found?
First let's go over where bees can be found.
There are over 20,000 Bees found all over the world; North America, Africa, and the Middle East are areas with large quantities of them. The Middle East and Africa have so many types of bees that there may be a diverse amount that has been undiscovered; even compared to tropical areas!
In North America we have about 4,000 bees, Canada has about 800 of those alone.
Thinking about the amount of bees that are in Canada alone we wanted to check on some of those. Here are just 6 bees that live in Canada. Some are the basic guys that we know and love and some can be really mean!
In researching bees we learned that the Honey bee is one of the most scientifically studied creatures in the world after man! The honey bee's brain is about the size of a tiny grain of sugar, but researchers have found that it is surprisingly smart. Honeybees can be trained to detect illnesses in humans!
Honey bees have been trained to act as bomb detectors as well! Scientists have trained honey bees to react to small amounts of chemicals found in explosives. Trainers reward honey bees with sugar water when they accurately sense an explosive compound, when the bees correctly sense the compound they automatically stick out their tongues in expectation of their reward.
Do Bees poo?
Adult worker honey bees are known to be hygienic, and poop outside the hive. Even in winter when worker bees can’t leave the nest/hive to forage, worker bees hold on to their poop and take what is known as ‘cleansing flights’ when they can. These are short flights (especially in winter) when they leave their hive to poop. To reduce going too far in the cold Worker bees have been known to poo on the outside of the hive in the winter.
The Queen, however, never leaves and poos in the hive, worker bees have to clean it up for her.