Bees are hard-working insects. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. There are 20,000 different kinds of bees.
Bees pollinate flowers
Bees drink nectar from flowers. As they drink, a fine yellow dust called pollen sticks to their legs. One bee may be carrying up to 50,000 pieces of pollen at once! Bees use pollen as food for baby bees. Honeybees also use the pollen to make honey in their hive. Most people eat about a pound of honey every year.
When bees visit other flowers, they spread the pollen around. This is a very important job because it helps plants make new seeds. Many of these seeds turn into fruits and vegetables that we eat, including apples, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, melon, broccoli, and many more. Bees pollinate more than 90 crops!
How bees communicate
Bees do a dance to let other bees know where to find flowers. It is called a "waggle dance."
1. Habitat loss. As people build roads and buildings, there aren't as many places for bees to live or as many places for them to gather food.
2. Pesticides. People spray chemicals called pesticides onto plants so insects won't eat the plants. These pesticides can make the bees sick.
3. Colony Collapse Disorder. Almost 1 out of every 3 honeybee hives have died. The worker bees, who visit the flowers and bring back the honey, disappear. They leave the hive and don't come back. This is called colony collapse disorder. Scientists still don't know why this happens, but it is a big problem.
Bees need two things to survive:
Most bees prefer flowers that
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National Geographic Kids. “National Geographic Kids.” National Geographic Kids, 2019, kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/honeybee/#honeybee-pink-flower.jpg. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019.
San Diego Zoo. “Bee.” San Diego Zoo Kids, 2019, kids.sandiegozoo.org/animals/bee. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019.
United States Department of Agriculture. “Bee Pollination.” Fs.Fed.Us, 2014, www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/bees.shtml. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019.