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UK Nature > Bees > Apis mellifera




Scientific Name: Apis mellifera
Common Name: European Honey Bee

Apis mellifera, more commonly known as the European Honey Bee, are somewhat variable in color but are always some shade of black, brown or brown intermixed with yellow. They have dense hairs on the pronotum and sparser hair on the abdomen. The abdomen often appears banded, as seen in the specimen shown above. Honey bee workers visit flowers to collect pollen and nectar, pollen being vital for feeding the larvae, and the pollination of crop flowers vital to agriculture of the UK.

During transport to the hive, pollen is held in a structure on each hind leg called the "pollen basket" and nectar is carried in a structure in the front part of the digestive system, called the "honey sac". Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees.











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