Insects


There are more than 750,000 different insects, making up almost three-quarters of the animal species. Insects are considered the most successful group in the whole animal kingdom.[1]


Most of their success is based on the characteristic structure that they share with all other arthropods. There are three characteristics that include: exoskeletons, segmented bodies, and jointed appendages. Another reason why insects are so successful is because most insects are small and therefore have adapted to specific habits and needs. This allows many species of insects to exist in small areas without competing with one another for rare resources. Also, since they are the only invertebrates that can fly, that trait alone has added to their success.[2]


All insects share certain characteristics.[3] Insects have three unmistakable body parts and three pairs of legs, unlike all other arthropods. The three distinct body parts are: a head, a thorax, and an abdomen.[4]


On an insectís head are an antennae, compound eyes, and mouthparts. An insectís mouthparts are modified[5] due to different methods of feeding. The three most common types of mouthparts are: Chewing, Sucking, and Lapping.[6]


Attached to the thorax are three pairs of legs, and if the insect has wings, they are also attached to the thorax. The legs are adapted based on the insectís habitat. They are usually adapted for jumping, walking, or running.[7]


The abdomen can have as many as eleven segments. The main purpose of the abdomen is to house the heart, the respiratory and excretory organs, and the spiracles that the insect breathes through. During respiration in the insect, the trachea carries air to body cells. Insects have an open circulatory system, where blood flows into large open spaces surrounding the organs.[8]

Honey Bees
Among the most studied and best-known insects are honeybees. Honeybee is the common name for any of several different species of highly social bees known for their honey-hoarding behavior. Honeybees can be viewed as both harmful and beneficial to human society, itís up to you to decide.


Through beekeeping, the honeybee has become domesticated. The honeybee is important to modern agriculture and nature. They provide pollination for many valuable crops and wild plants. They are native to Asia and the Middle East and were not introduced to North America until the colonists came from Europe. Honeybees became widespread about the mid-1800s. Today, they have populated on every continent except for Antarctica.[9]


Besides the more familiar European honeybee, there are six other known species of honeybees. They include: the Indian honey bee, Koschevnikovís honey bee, the dwarf honey bee, the andreniform dwarf honey bee, the giant honey bee, and the mountain giant honey bee.[10]


The European, the Indian, and the dwarf honeybees have all been domesticated. However, the European honeybee is by far the most widespread domesticated bee and the only species kept in North America.[11] There are many different races of the European honeybee. The races most popular in modern beekeeping are the Italian, Carniolan, and Caucasian. Most honeybees used in hives today are mixtures of these and sometimes other races. Africanized honeybees (also known as killer bees) are a hybrid of African and European races from the western hemisphere.[12]


The honeybee is a social insect. It can only survive as a member of a community or a colony. The colony lives in an enclosed cavity (its nest). Domesticated colonies are usually kept in artificial containers, usually wooden boxes, (known as hives).[13]


The honeybee community has three structurally different forms[14](or roles)-the queen, a reproductive female; the drone, male; and the worker, a non-reproductive female. These different roles all associate with the different functions in the colony. Each group has itís own special instincts that all go together to meet the needs of a successful colony.[15]


There is only one sexually productive female in the colony, known as the queen. She is the mother of all drones, workers, and future queens. The queen has a huge capacity for laying eggs. Her daily output often exceeds 1500 eggs, the weight of which is equivalent to that of her own body.[16]


The queen is very different from the drones and workers based on her anatomy. She has a long body and a much larger abdomen than a worker bee. The mandibles (jaws) contain sharp cutting teeth,