Bee aware

Bee of the genus Apis on a flower
Maciej A. Czyzewski / Creative Commons

Honeybees: for some, a sign of the end of winter. For others, an important agricultural resource. But did you know they are also used to understand learning? Or the evolution of social behavior? Find out what the buzz is all about with this collection.

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been called the world's third most economically important livestock. They're incredibly important pollinators; they, along with other organisms like wasps, moths, ants, and bats, are responsible for helping the reproduction of over three quarters of the world's plants. They are also unique in many ways: they are eusocial insects, which means that they live in a group, work together to care for offspring, have overlapping generations, and have a division of reproduction & labor. 

    Researchers use the honeybee to study many things, including learning and memory (how do bees remember where necar is located?), communication (how do they use waggle dances to tell other bees where to find flowers?), and the evolution of social behavior (why do they have only one breeding female in a large group?)

    This collection lets you explore a little about bees. It includes two Science in the Classroom annotated articles as well as suggested multimedia resources.