Contains honey, bee larvae or eggs

Development, rate of reproduction

However, quite a few species of bees do not make a cocoon. After the droppings or the completion of the cocoon, there is a more or less long period of rest before pupation takes place. This stage of the resting larva or prepupa lasts a few weeks to 11 months, depending on the climate, time of appearance and species. When pupating, the larval skin is stripped off. The pupa already has the outlines of the finished bees. All parts are whitish and extremely tender. The body is elongated and the wings, which are not yet unfolded, lie close to the thorax as small, crystal-clear, membranous packets. In the course of the pupil's rest, the complex and point eyes, later the mouthparts, the antennae, the thorax, etc., are colored by successive pigmentation and the hemolymph (blood fluid) is pumped into the wings, thereby stretching them.

At the end of the pupal time, the pupal skin breaks open on the back of the thorax and is gradually stripped off by the movements of the insect. As the end result, we find the fully developed bee, the full insect, also known as the imago, in the brood cell. The hair is initially silvery white and lies close to the body. Only in the course of sclerotization (hardening of the cuticle) does it take on its final color. Leaving the cocoon or cell is done with the help of the upper jaw and legs.

Rate of reproduction

Solitary bees are generally not particularly fertile. Since the lifespan of females is usually limited to 4-6 weeks and generally at least one day is required for building and maintaining a single brood cell, they only have a maximum of 20-40 offspring per female. During periods of bad weather and unfavorable nesting site conditions, the rate of reproduction (reproduction rate) is even lower. Since part of the brood falls victim to predators or parasites or does not develop for other reasons (e.g. fungal growth) and, on top of that, a more or less high proportion of the offspring of solitary bees consists of males, in the best case one brood results in around 10 reproductive females. Similar reproduction rates are presumably present for the communal species. With the social bees, however, we have to reckon with significantly higher numbers. In eusocial furrow bees, a queen produces 30–100 individuals (Lasioglossum malachurum), maximum 1500 individuals (Lasioglossum marginatum) in the course of colony development. Bumblebee queens usually produce no more than 100, in individual cases up to 800 offspring in the course of a growing season. The honey bee queen, on the other hand, has over 100,000 offspring in the course of her 3 to 4 years of life, and in the months of May / June she can lay 1200–1500 eggs per day.

 

To the next page of this chapter>