The European honey bee (sometime called western honey bee) is a member of a group of bees made popular by their honey-producing abilities. They assist in the pollination of plants and crops. Due to their behavior and adaptability, European honey bees are a favorite species among researchers.
Contrary to its name, the European honey bee is not a native of Europe. Instead, these bees originated from the Middle East and Asia. They have been named European honey bees because European colonists introduced them to North America.
Although there are six other members of the honey bee genus Apis, the European honey bee is one of the most popular domesticated honey bees. They are typically gentle, performing daily activities without harming other animals or humans. However, some hybrid species of the European honey bee, such as the Africanized, or “killer” bee, can become aggressive when disturbed or provoked.
European honey bees measure around 11 to 15 mm long, with yellow and black colors as well as distinct brown bands on their abdomens. They are often seen visiting flowers and are frequently exposed to humans.
European honey bees collect nectar from flowers and store it in sacs within their abdomens. The workers convert the nectar into honey and then deposit it into hive cells for storage.
European honey bees, as well as other species of bees, communicate by means of dancing. When a European honey bee discovers a new food source near their hive, the bee will make a circular dance or a waggle dance to indicate direction and location of the food source. Workers then follow the directions to locate the food.