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Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

bee

Honeybee  (Apis mellifera) carrying nectar to the hive with pollen attached. Photo  Credit: Muhammad_Mahdi_Karim http://www.flickr.com/photos/34328743@N03/
The  western honeybee was introduced to North America from Europe although it  originated in eastern Africa. There are only seven species of true honeybees  from among the 20,000 known species of bees. Their agricultural importance as a  pollinator of fruits & vegetables ($10 billion dollars annually) is  difficult to overestimate even aside from their production of a quarter of a  billion dollars worth of honey annually. Therefore their dramatic population  decline over recent years is alarming. The causes of this decline have been  traced to several factors including: destruction of wild bee habitat by  agricultural development, the use of certain neuro-active insecticides like the  neonicotinoids, and infection by several types of mites.
Additional  Resources:
Detailed  Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee
Two  Scientific American Blogs:
Close-Ups  of Bees Midflight.  andHoneybees  and Monoculture: Nothing to Dance About.

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