Swarm of honey bees (Apis mellifera) on a tree

Swarm of honey bees (Apis mellifera) on a tree

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Credit: WILLIAM ERVIN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Honey bee swarm. View of a swarm of honey bees (Apis mellifera) around a branch of a tree. Honey bees originated in southern Asia, but they have now been introduced throughout the world. They are highly social insects. Swarms such as this one are largely made up of worker bees, which build a hive, feed larvae and defend the hive against any enemies. At the centre of this swarm is a queen bee, which produces all these workers, and starts building the hive which new workers complete. Queen bees may live for three years, but workers generally die after a few weeks. Honey bees are kept for their honey, a rich sugar solution used to feed their young.

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Keywords: animal, apis mellifera, bee, bee swarm, bees, honey, honey bee, honey bees, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, on tree, swarm, tree, wildlife, zoology

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