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Wild Things: The Buzz on Honeybees

Humans have a bit of a love/hate relationship with bees - we love their honey but hate their stings - but most of us don't know much about them. Here's the buzz on what bees are all about.

Bee Are Family - The Colony

Honeybees are very social and live in communities called hives. There are three main types of honeybees and each type has a very specific job in the community.

The Queen: The Queen is the largest and single most important bee in the hive. She is the only female bee capable of reproducing. When she emerges from her cell as a newborn bee she mates with about 18 drones and the sperm she collects will then last her for her whole life, which lasts about two years.

Drones: Drones have a pretty easy life. Their only job is to mate with the queen - they don't even have stingers or collect pollen.

Workers: Most bees in the hive are worker bees, which are always female. They have it pretty rough - they only live for about a month, can't mate, have to feed the queen and larvae, guard the hive entrance and even keep the hive cool by fanning their wings.

Bees - Honey I'm Home

Bees produce honey as food stores (for themselves, not for us) to eat during the winter when there isn't any fresh flower nectar available. Thankfully, they're such hard workers that they make far more than the colony can eat, so humans can harvest the rest. Sweet! Bees use their long tongues like straws to suck the nectar out of the flowers. They store the nectar in a special stomach, reserved only for honey, until they get back to the hive where other bees suck it out of their stomach and chew it until it turns from nectar to honey. The honey is then stored in cells (honeycomb) and covered in beeswax until it is needed.

Bees - The Painful Truth

Honeybees only sting as their last resort because their stingers are barbed like a fishhook and rip out of their bodies when they use them. As a result, the bee dies shortly after it stings you. And you thought getting stung was bad? The best thing to do if a bee stings you is to tell an adult and have them help you remove the stinger. It's best just to scrape away the stinger with a credit card or a butter knife. Don't try to pull it out with your fingers because you may end up pushing more venom into you, which will make it feel like you've been stung again. Ouch. Afterward, put ice on the area. Only a small percentage of people are allergic to bee stings, but to those who are, a sting can be life threatening. Keep an eye out for signs of shortness of breath or excessive swelling. If these symptoms occur, consult a doctor.

Bees - Did U Know?

  • It takes the nectar from about two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
  • Honeybees fly at speeds of about 15 miles per hour.
  • Utah is known as the Beehive State.
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-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in New Users:
I commented Jordan about it. I found it a great idea. 
reply 9 minutes
Black_Rose_19
Black_Rose_19 posted in Debating:
Haha, I guess after looking at your facts, you win. I still am pretty bad at this, so I'm quick to give up, but you've actually successfully changed my opinion on this, so props to you. Well, that's what I get for messing with the master.
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naruto200
naruto200 posted in New Users:
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-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in New Users:
I don't mean for it to be spread out into posts, but there is a character limit. 
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AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"Black_Rose_19" wrote:I originally got this story from a source that most people wouldn't exactly call credible , a comedy/politics TV show, but after checking their sources, I believe I have a strong case with decently strong sources.  I hope so. I'm using the same source that John used for debate's sake.  "Black_Rose_19" wrote:You are incorrect when you said you'd only have to pay for labor and materials, as several other factors come into play. Factors...such as? "Black_Rose_19" wrote: Also, where I said 1000 feet, I very much apologize, more like 1000 miles. It should cost about 10 billion for the concrete panels, and although concrete is cheap, it's not dirt cheap, and 1000 miles of concrete will add up to a pretty good amount.  It's okay, I adjusted ## ####### to miles, but somehow still said feet. The same estimate I gave is found in the article, which is around eight million cubic yards of concrete. This would total out to roughly thirty two billion pounds of concrete, which totals out to 533 million bags of concrete, each weighing sixty pounds. The average cost of a sixty pound bag of concrete is $2.83, which we them multiply by 533 million to get 1.5 billion.  This is where I messed up. I used the standard price of unmixed concrete, when I needed to use the standard price of precast slabs. Oliver's source does the rest:  "A cement manufacturer said prices are now running $85 to $90 a cubic yard, so that works out to about $700 million just for the concrete" However, in an update, they nixed the math all together and went with an anonymous economist's unevidenced estimate:  "He worked through some of the math, though he did not want to be identified publicly. Roughly, he said a wall of this type would cost at least $25 billion" This is what John Oliver used on his show. As the unknown economist cites no reason for us to think that the cost would be anywhere near his estimate, I see no reason to think his estimate is valid.  So, effectively, we've reduced the cost from 3 billion to 700 million. Let's the keep the billion dollar safe fund though. Total so far: 1.7 Billion "Black_Rose_19" wrote:Next it should cost 5-6 billion dollars for steel columns to hold the panels, including labor. Really? Including labor? Fine with me. I'm honestly not sure how much steel would be needed for each panel, so I'll defer to this estimate.  Total Cost so far: 6.7 Billion "Black_Rose_19" wrote:Add another billion for concrete footing and foundations, and that's sixteen billion dollars. The Washington Post article included foundation in their total assessment of the concrete required. "Black_Rose_19" wrote:But, transport is required to inaccessible areas. It will cost about another 2 billion dollars to build roads that will allow 20 ton trucks to carry materials to the wall. At ten million dollars per mile, a road spanning the entire length of the wall would require ten billion dollars. Why do you think a fifth of this cost would be required?  The average cost of a road which would allow such transport is 5 million per mile. Let's overestimate the length that would be required to two hundred miles. That gets you to 1 billion.  Total cost so far: 7.7 Billion "Black_Rose_19" wrote:We also need engineering, design, and management, which brings us up to the magic number of 25 billion dollars, on average considering all factors. The Congressional Budget office also says that wall management costs will exceed the original cost to build the wall in as little as seven years. From your previous estimate of eighteen billion, I'll assume that you're factoring in seven billion dollars worth of engineering, design, and management? Why do you think it'll cost that much? To pay every engineer, designer, and manager who would ever work on the wall...I'd put aside about 1.5 billion. Total cost: 9.2 Billion Well what do you know. About a sixth of the annual trade deficit with Mexico, and almost a third of your original estimate.  "Black_Rose_19" wrote:With the Mexico paying for it part, as John Oliver, the host of this show, says, "People don't exactly love it when you make them pay for [expletive] they don't want." The current Mexican treasury secretary states, "Mexico, under no circumstance, is going to pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing." 2 former Mexican presidents that only recently left office also say, in a nutshell, that Mexico will never pay for the wall.  They won't love it, but they will pay for it. If they refuse, Trump plans to put a 35% tariff on all Mexican import. In other words, every company in Mexico will have to pay 35% the value of whatever they're bringing into The United States. Mexico will lose more money paying this tariff than they would by financing the wall, so either way the United States gets the money it needs to build the wall from Mexico. 
reply 39 minutes