What animal lives in a hive?
Honey bees live in large family groups called colonies. A full-sized colony at the height of the growing season contains an average of 60,000 individual bees. Honey bees tended by beekeepers live in wood boxes called hives (See Activity Sheet 5).
The vast majority of the hive is comb – a series of interlocking hexagonal cells made of wax. It is in these hexagons that brood is raised and honey and pollen are stored. Bees make it all! Worker bees have glands on their bodies that produce little flecks of wax.
Bees live in a strict class system. There's the queen, which can live up to six years but is productive laying eggs for only about two years. There are the worker bees, which live only about six weeks - three weeks housekeeping in the hive, and three weeks as field bees, foraging for nectar.
Yes, beehives are living things. Because of the social structure of a honey bee family, a colony is consider a “super-organism. Inside the hive, individual bees go about their daily tasks – however, the hive as a whole organism can grow and prosper or become weak and die.
Native to Africa, the small hive beetle has spread across the world at an alarming rate. The pest was first identified in the United States in 1996. It made its way into Australia in 2002 and now affects beekeepers in both Queensland and New South Wales.
Beehives can provide shelter to a number of large and small creatures such as spiders, earwigs, cockroaches, slugs and snails.
Only 10% of the world's 20,000 bee species are social, and only a small percentage of these construct hives. In North America, only the introduced European honey bee and bumble bees build hives and live in colonies. Most bees, approximately 75%, are solitary and live in individual nests tunneled into the soil.
Unlike honey bees, wasps have no wax-producing glands, and instead create wasp nests from a paper-like substance from wood pulp. Social wasps like yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps build nests and form colonies.
Although hives and nests are often used interchangeably, they are different from one another. Beehives are man-made structures, intentionally meant to house bees. Nests, on the other hand, are naturally-occurring. Bees often build their nests in isolated areas, but you may also find them nesting in roof cavities.
A honey bee colony typically consists of three kinds of adult bees: workers, drones, and a queen. Several thousand worker bees cooperate in nest building, food collection, and brood rearing.