Urban beekeeping is gaining in popularity across the world. These two garden hives in Illinois have been supered to catch the summer honey flow.
A worker honey bee Apis mellifera returns to the hive.
Castes of the western honey bee Apis mellifera: worker, queen, and drone.
Apis mellifera - worker honey bee covered in dandelion pollen.
Urbana, Illinois, USA
A queen honey bee solicits food from one of her daughters.
An early season worker of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, covered with dandelion pollen.
Urbana, Illinois, USA
Worker bees ripen nectar in freshly-built honeycomb.
A queen bee is recognized by her elongate abdomen.
Portrait of a mature laying queen.
Gathering pollen and nectar from the fall bloom of New England asters.
Male bees can be recognized by their enormous eyes, useful for spotting unmated queens on the wing.
A foraging bee returns to the hive with both nectar (visible in the distended abdomen) and pollen (visible in the baskets on the bee's hind legs).
Pollen, collected from the legs of foraging bees as they return to the hive, is sold as a natural high-protein dietary supplement.
Portrait of a guard bee.
Worker bees in a crowded hive.
A honey bee gathers nectar from yellow sweet clover Melilotus albus.
A young worker bee. Laboratory colony at The University of Texas at Austin.
A bee cleans her antenna by pulling it through a special brush on her foreleg. Laboratory colony at The University of Texas at Austin.
Although honey bees are not native to North America, they are capable of pollinating some of our native plants. Here, a foraging worker sips nectar from a native rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala). Austin, Texas, USA.
Student beekeepers at the University of Illinois inspect a hive.
The smoker is the most important tool of the beekeeper, as smoke disarms the bees' defensive response.
Beekeepers have long known that smoke calms bees, preventing the colony from mounting a full defense against intruders. Here, a beekeeper smokes a hive before opening it.
A bee smoker.
A beekeeper inspects brood comb during a routine hive inspection. Regular inspections are necessary to monitor the health of the colony and better plan management activities.
A beekeeper inspects brood combs during a routine hive inspection.
A honey bee worker, close-up. The hairs serve several functions, including insulation, pollen collection, and sensory input.
When honey is ripe, bees cap the cells with fresh wax.
Drones (left) are bulkier than their sister workers.
A beekeeper examines a frame of honey.
A beekeeper holds a frame of capped worker brood.
Freed from the confines of a beekeeper's square frame and artificial wax foundation, bees naturally build combs in U-shaped panels.
Honey bees naturally build their combs in a characteristic U-shape.
Morning sun helps this hive start its daily foraging.
A spring swarm rests high in a tree branch.
In the wild, honey bees normally nest in tree cavities. Here, a young colony of Africanized bees has established a colony inside a stump (Tucson, Arizona).
honeybeesbee in flightflying bees