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Little Honeybee

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Little Honeybee, Part II
The little honeybee will begin to collect food for the hive.
The little honeybee will begin to collect food for the hive.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the second part of "Little Honeybee."

The little honeybee is ready to take her first flight! Now she is called a field bee. She will begin to collect food for the hive. When her wings move up and down very fast, they make a buzzing sound. Soon the little bee rises into the air. She circles around the hive many times to learn what her hive looks like so she can find her way back to it. Her next flight will be to the farmer's fields to find food.

The little honeybee buzzes through the summer air. She is looking for just the right flowers. She looks for flowers with bright colors and a sweet scent. Her special eyes help her find which flowers are filled with nectar. When the little bee finds a clover, she lands and sips the liquid nectar from the flower with her tongue.

The little honeybee will fill her tummy with sweet nectar and take it back to the hive. The nectar mixes with a special enzyme that bees have in their honey stomachs. This mixture is called honey. The honey is then stored in one of the beeswax cells that the little bee helped to make in the hive.

As the little bee collects nectar, she also gathers pollen from flowers. Pollen looks like yellow dust. The pollen sticks to the bee's furry legs. She brushes the pollen into little baskets on her back legs.

The bee visits many different flowers when she feeds. Some of the pollen that she has collected from one flower falls onto a new flower. When the pollen from one flower mixes with another, a seed will form. The seed makes a new plant. This is called pollination.

The little honeybee will fill her tummy with sweet nectar and take it back to the hive.
The little honeybee will fill her tummy with sweet nectar and take it back to the hive.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

When the little bee's baskets are full, she takes her pollen back to the hive. The pollen will be stored for food. The little bee returns to her hive. She gives her load of nectar and pollen to a house bee.

The little bee flies farther into the hive so she can tell her brothers and sisters where she found the tasty food. She does a dance! The little bee turns in a circle and wiggles her body. These movements let the other bees know how far away the flowers are. The movements also tell the bees what direction to fly to find the food.

The little bee also gives off a smell that tells the other workers what kind of flowers she found.

It is time for the farmer to harvest, or collect, the honey from the hive. The farmer sprays smoke in the top box of the hive. The little bee does not like the smoke, so she crawls to the bottom of the hive with the other bees. This smoke also makes the bees move really slowly which means the farmer has less of a chance of getting stung after spraying the smoke.

The farmer sprays smoke in the top box of the hive.
The farmer sprays smoke in the top box of the hive.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The farmer lifts some honey-filled cells from the top box and removes the honey. She leaves enough honey for the colony to eat. She'll take the honey home where it will be processed, stored in a jar, and sold to customers.

After the farmer has harvested as much as she needs, the bees know the hive needs to make more honey. A cloud of worker bees buzzes around the hive. They are getting ready to look for more food. The little honeybee is with them. This is what she was born to do. She will spend the rest of her life flying in search of food for her big family.

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