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NAME: ---------------------------------------------         ID#:----------------------------            Group:----------------                                                

Social Life in a Beehive


[A]   People have long been fascinated by honeybees, not only because of the honey they produce, but also because of their lifestyle. Fascinated by the lifestyle—of bees? It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But it is a fact that bees have a very interesting and well-organized social structure. They live peacefully together in families that work together for the good of the group. The females take care of the young, even though these babies are not their own, and they divide up the work in an efficient and effective manner. These are just a few of the characteristics of an insect society.


 [B]      A family of bees is called a hive or a colony. A hive is made up of three types of bees: the mother bee (usually called the queen), worker bees, and drones—the brothers of the workers. Hives vary in size, but a strong hive or colony has fifty to eighty thousand (50,000—80,000) bees. Of this number, there will be one queen and several hundred drones; all the others will be workers.


[C]       The hive centers around the queen bee. She lays all the eggs for the entire hive, so she is vitally important to the colony, and its future depends upon her. It has been said that in a beehive, the king is actually a queen. The workers are devoted to her, and they wait on her at all times and satisfy every need that she might have. They bring the best food, and they lick her body whenever she passes by them in the hive. They guard her constantly so that no enemy can attack her and harm her.


[D]       The queen is selected for her powerful role before her birth. What makes a bee a queen rather than a worker is the amount and type of food she is fed as a larva, the developmental stage after she hatches from the egg. A queen-to-be gets much richer food—and much more food—than a worker-to-be, and as a result, she is the only female who will be able to reproduce later. Workers decide when a new queen is needed, and they choose one of the developing larvae to give the rich diet to. It is often noted that any worker could have been chosen to be a queen because diet alone determines who will be a queen and who will be a worker. There is only one queen in a hive. In a very unusual situation, two queens may be produced. In this case, they will attack each other and fight until one of them dies. The other members of the hive—the workers and drones—will not get involved in the fight or attempt to stop it in any way. They will wait quietly and patiently on the sidelines and let nature take its course; at the end of the fight, they will immediately give their full attention and service to the victorious queen.  

[E]  The worker bees work in shifts, and some rest while the others work. Bees could have invented the idea of group dynamics. They know how to organize themselves to work together efficiently and effectively in groups. They all learn to do all the activities necessary to run the hive, and they are able to shift from one activity to


another to meet the changing needs of the hive. When the workers are young, they work around the hive. They clean the cells in the hive, and they feed the developing larvae. As they get older, they become foragers, and they spend most of their time outside looking for food to bring back to the hive.


 [F]   From the day workers are born, they begin to work. For a short period when they are young (the first three or four days), they are allowed to play, but even then, they have their chores to do in the bee colony, and they are preparing themselves for their later food-gathering role outside the hive. The workers are literally the brains of the hive; their brains are larger than those of either the queen or the drones. As a result, they are able to do many different things and play many different working roles, depending upon the needs of the hive.


[1] Write (T) for true statements and (F) for false statements:

  1. _____ Most of the bees in a hive are workers.
  2. _____ The queen bee is the smartest bee in the hive because she has the largest brain.
  3. _____ The older bees clean the cells in the hive.
  4. _____ Any worker could be chosen to be a queen.
  5. _____ Young bees are not allowed to play.
  6. _____ The eating diet alone determines who will be a queen.


[2] Give the topic for the following paragraphs:

Paragraph [B]-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paragraph [C]-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paragraph [D]-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[3] Give the main idea for the following paragraphs:

Paragraph [E]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paragraph [F]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[4] What are some of the characteristics of social insects?


[5] What are the three types of bees in a family?



[5] How does the hive select its queen?



[6]  What are the roles of the females in the beehive?



[7] What happens if there was more than one queen for the hive?



 [8] In a colony of 60,000 bees, how many member of each type of bees would you expect to have?



[9] What do group dynamics mean?



[10] Give one example for the workers role in the hive.



 [12] Write the meaning of each word as used in the text

Hive (B) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Drones (B) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Larva (D) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victorious (D) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Effectively (E) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Literally (F) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------






[13] What does each word refer to?

they (A) -------------------------------------------          its (C) ------------------------------------------------                             

it (D) ----------------------------------------------        diet (D) -----------------------------------------------

some (E)---------------------------------------------      then (F) ---------------------------------------------



 [14] Write ( N , V , Adj, Adv ) in front of the following words to determine the part of speech.

Interesting (A)-------                     need (C) -----------                            reproduce (D) ------------

sidelines (D)---------                      chores (F)------------.                         role (F) -----------------



[11]Write a summary about the queen of the beehive mentioning its main role.





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