B is for Bee

b is for bee

Compiling the vegan dictionary is taking a long time and I won’t be able to complete a letter in one day as I naïvely first thought.  I have only just finished Bb so won’t be able to share any C words until at least tomorrow 🙂  In the meantime, Miranda thought it might be a good idea to post an excerpt of Bb – so here it is:

Bee    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Four-winged stinging insect, collecting nectar and pollen and producing honey and wax.

Our definition:  There are lots of different types of bee in the UK, around 250 species – 24 species of bumble bee, 225 species of solitary bee and just one species of honey bee.  Honey bees will live through the winter, eating and working all winter long, which of course requires a large store of food – hence the honey they’ve worked hard for all summer.  With Bumble bees however, the new queens, after mating, find somewhere to hibernate and the rest of the colony dies off.  While hibernating she does not need to eat so there are no honey stores.  In the spring when she has to work hard, she makes a small pot of honey for herself.    Solitary bees typically produce neither honey nor wax.  They are important pollinators as the females, who are all fertile, build their own nests and take care of their own young so pollen is gathered for provisioning the nest with food for their brood.  Bees gathering nectar (eg honey bees) may accomplish pollination, but bees that are deliberately gathering pollen (eg solitary orchard mason bees) are more efficient pollinators.  There are also 500 species of stingless bee

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