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Bees

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Bees help grow the food we eat every day. When they fly from one flower to another, pollen sticks to their bodies and shakes off onto other plants. Do you like to eat apples, pumpkins and strawberries? These are just some of the foods that use the pollen bees spread to make more seeds. Without bees, we wouldn’t enjoy some of the delicious foods we love!

Our bee friends face a lot of dangers like habitat loss, climate change and pesticide use. These things make it hard for bees to stay healthy and there are less bees around every year. Learn more about bees below and see what you can do to help our bee friends.

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Know your bees

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Honey bees and Bumblebees

  • Have family they live with called a "colony"
  • Live in hives and make honeycomb
  • Don't want to sting you (just stay away from their hive)

Solitary bees

  • Don't live in a hive. These bees live in holes in the ground, wood piles and on cliffs. They need to find shelter to lay their eggs.
  • 8 in every 10 bees are solitary bees

Queen bees

  • There is only one queen bee in every bee hive. She is the largest bee.
  • A queen bee lays 1000 eggs a day.
  • She eats a honey/pollen mixture called royal jelly.

Did you know? Bee hives can be found in the wild but there are also beekeeper bee hives. A beekeeper takes care of the bees and makes sure they are safe and warm during the winter. A beekeeper can also take honey if there is too much made.

Alberta is home to over 200 types of bees. Read more about 6 common bees in Calgary.

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Bees eat and drink just like humans do; but bees eat pollen for protein, and drink nectar to stay hydrated.

Bees also communicate with each other to help share food sources with their colony. Honey bees perform a ‘waggle dance’ where they point their bodies the direction of the food and move in a figure 8 pattern. If they move fast and are excited, that means there is a large amount of food. A longer, slower waggle means the food is further away.​

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  1. ​​Bees collect the nectar (sweet liquid inside flower).
  2. They take the sweet nectar back to the hive and thicken it into honey.
  3. The bees spit the nectar into honeycomb and stir.
  4. They flap their wings together to make thick honey.
  5. Then they put beeswax on top of honey.
  6. Honey feeds the bees and their little bee babies.

Did you know? Thousands of bees travel very far to get nectar from millions of flowers to make into a small amount of honey. Now that's a lot of work for a sweet treat!

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Who’s the most popular singer at the beehive? Bee-yonce

What did the sushi say to the bee? Wasa-beeee

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Activities to help you learn about bees

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Make Calgary a bee-utiful place with a colourful shelter for bees to stay warm and take a rest.

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http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/athome/Pages/crafts-and-games/Bee-hotel.aspx, /CSPS/athome/Pages/crafts-and-games/Bee-hotel.aspx

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