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Millennium Post

Pollinating insects

Bees and butterflies play an important role in our biodiversity as pollinators. They are fabulous organisers and manage their life-cycle beautifully.

How many bees can live in a beehive?
Between 20,000 to 60,000 bees can live in a single hive. The queen bee lays nearly 1,500 eggs a day and can live for up to two years.
How are honeycombs made by bees?
Honeycombs are made of bee's wax which is made from the nectar of flowers. Bee's wax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain of alcohols. It is secreted by the bees from glands on their abdomens.
On an average, how much honey does a hive produce?
It depends upon various aspects like:
Availability of nectar or flora around the hive. Location of the bee hive is important.
Strength of the bee hive. How healthy the bees are.
Weather - If it is cold outside then bees will not go out to collect nectar and if it is too hot outside then bees will die. So, the temperature should be ideal.
If everything goes well, then one bee hive can produce 35–40 kg honey in a year. But the conditions are not ideal every time, so, the average amount of honey produced by one bee hive is around 20–30 kg.
What is the lifespan of a butterfly?
An adult butterfly probably has an average life-span of approximately one month. In the wild, most butterflies life-span is shorter because of predators, disease and large objects, such as automobiles. The smallest butterflies may live only a week or so, while a few butterflies, such as Monarchs, Mourning Cloaks and tropical heliconians, can live up to nine months.
How do butterflies survive the winters?
In areas where temperatures drop below freezing point during the winter, at least one stage in a butterfly species life cycle must be resistant to freezing if the species is resident. Most butterflies that live in cold climates spend the winter as caterpillars, while almost as many spend the winter as pupas. A few species, mainly tortoise shells and angel wings spend the winter as adults, hibernating in holes in trees, in crevices in man-made structures, or in other shelters. Very few species spend the winter as eggs.
Where do butterflies lay their eggs?
Most butterflies lay their eggs on plants that will be eaten by the caterpillar, when it hatches. Some species lay their eggs on the tops of leaves, some on the bottom, some at the leaf axils, some on flowers, and some on stalks.
Do butterflies migrate?
Yes, butterflies do migrate. The long-distance migration can be attributed to a combination of climatic factors, food availability and breeding habitat preferences.
Why do butterflies taste with their feet?
Butterflies taste with their feet as their taste sensors are located there.
They can taste it by just standing on their food. They don't have mouths that allow them to bite or chew, instead they have a long straw-like structure called a proboscis which they use to drink nectar and juices.
(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)
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