How long does a bee live? Is it possible to save her from death?
At the dawn of evolution, bees, like most insects, led an isolated life. The young individuals, having become stronger, left the maternal nest and set off on a “solo flight”. However, frequent sharp cooling of the climate eventually led them to a social form of organization of life. Joint housekeeping, guarding the home and caring for each other greatly simplifies the life of each member of the bee family.
The reason and diligence of these amazing animals since ancient times caused people to have respect, even reverence, which is reflected in mythology. Different nations have many legends about bees. Even the Indians, who learned about honeybee insects thanks to the conquerors to the Europeans, who, in fact, brought bees to the American continent, managed to lay down many legends about little toilers. According to one of them, the bees created the great spirit of Manitou from people of an Indian tribe who became famous for his work ethic.A tribe, known for its laziness, turned into flies.
How long does a honeybee live? Is it possible to somehow protect this little insect from death? Let's find the answers to these questions.
Bee life is not honey ...
The basis of the coordinated activities of the entire hive - working bees. Physiologically, these are female individuals with an underdeveloped reproductive system. They perform a whole range of vital functions:
- build honeycombs;
- clean the hive and protect it;
- harvest pollen and propolis;
- collect nectar and process it into honey;
- feed and raise brood;
- take care of the womb and the drones;
- provide a family with water.
Activity of bees depending on age
Each type of work is performed by a group of same-age bees, since the distribution of “professional” duties depends on the age gradation of working individuals. Here are their major labor milestones:
- 1st day after birth - relaxation and adaptation, no work.
- 2-3 days - cleaning the cells for honey and eggs laid by the uterus.
- 3–6 day - feeding of older larvae.
- 6–10 day - feeding the younger larvae with their own milk.
- 11–12 day - making honey, packing it in cells, cleaning and guarding the hive, caring for the drones and the queen.
- 12–15 day and until the end of life - field work (collecting nectar, pollen, water and glue).
How long does a worker bee live? I must say that, based on all of the above, their lives are rather short! High labor productivity requires huge energy costs, and there is almost no time to recuperate!
Caesar's - Caesar's ...
For a year in a bee family there is a change of several generations of working bees. Each generation has its own physiological characteristics, life expectancy, behavior and nutrition. The most dramatic differences are observed between summer and winter bees.
How long does a bee live? Those that were born in the summer, live a short time - from 5 to 8 weeks. They feed on pollen only for the first 10–12 days of life, while working in the hive. Working in the field has to be half starved, so the body fat of the summer bees is almost absent.
How many lives a bee, which was born in the fall? Their life expectancy is much longer - 6–8 months. They almost do not feed the larvae, but they feed heavily on their own. The fatty body of winter bees is well developed and consists of several layers of protein andfat The absence of field flights significantly reduces body wear and, accordingly, prolongs the life of insects.
How long does a male bee live? The age of the drones is also short. Their well-fed idle life, surrounded by the constant care of the worker bees, lasts for about 8 weeks. At the end of the honey harvest, the males without the sting simply cease to feed and are persistently forced out of the hive. Therefore, the brave bee hussars have only two options: to leave the family voluntarily and die of starvation, or (in the case of stubborn unwillingness to free living space) to be ruthlessly killed by their fellow Amazon.
How long does a queen bee live? She is a true long-liver in a bee colony. For 4 years, she responsibly performs the most important task of continuing the glorious bee family! In favorable conditions, the queen is able to lay more than 1000 eggs per day.
An eye for an eye…
The ancient Slavic legend tells how once the bees, tired of the frequent ruin of their nests by the lovers of free honey, turned to God for help. The Lord gave them weapons to protect against uninvited guests - a poisonous sting.However, he warned: if a bee uses poison against a person, death awaits her! But stung people, on the contrary, will be able to heal from many ailments!
Apparently, the creators of the legend were well aware of the structure and purpose of the bee sting. This is indeed a reliable weapon against insects and other animal aggressors, whose body has a chitinous cover. Piercing it with a sting and releasing poison, the bee quite easily pulls the deadly needle back.
However, the skin of mammals, including humans, has elasticity and elasticity, therefore, tightly squeezes the sting with notches at the end. Throwing unsuccessful attempts to extract it, the bee flies away. But since anatomically the sting is connected to the intestine of an insect, together with the body of protection, the bee loses part of the organ of digestion. At the end of the abdomen, a serious wound remains, and the bee soon dies.
How long does a bee live after a bite? She manages to live from several minutes to one and a half days, depending on the degree of damage.
Hunger - and the bees are not the aunt!
Another reason that could cause a rather rapid death of a bee is the lack of food.How long does a bee live without food? Additional factors in this case are also the age of the bee and the temperature regime of the external environment. If the bee is fed, it can hold out for a while without food, namely:
- 96 hours at 9 ° C;
- 72 h - at 13 ° C;
- 24 h - at 25 ° C;
- 10 h - at 37 ° C.
There are individuals that can do without food for up to 134 hours. Summer bees are much less hardy. The period of their fasting is from 4 to 17 h, a little more from young stock from 7 to 111 h. If the honey goiter of a bee is empty, it dies in 15 minutes.
Prepare a sleigh in the summer!
The ancient Maya worshiped the bee god Ahmuzenkabu. They have a well-developed beekeeping tradition, especially a careful and respectful attitude towards bees. If it happened that during the work of the “beekeeper” the insect died, it was buried, having previously wrapped it in a leaf of some plant.
However, it is always better to save the dying man than to bury him with honors. The question arises: "Can a beekeeper prevent the death of their pets?"
The causes of the mass death of "godfathers" may be different, but the most critical moment is wintering. Therefore, it is very important advance preparation for it in advance.The optimal temperature and humidity conditions in the hive and an adequate supply of food are the main conditions for the preservation of the bee family in the winter period. And this is the direct care of the beekeeper!
You should always remember: if you have already tamed someone - you need to answer for him!