Bzzz! Learn Everything About Bees in Spanish
La abeja—the bee in Spanish—is a flying insect that is closely related to la avispa (wasp) and la hormigas (ant). There are over 16,000 known species of bees that are divided into seven biological families!
While some species of bees, like honey bees, bumblebees and stingless bees are highly social and live in colonies, more than the 90% of the other species, including mason bees, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, and sweat bees are solitary.
Bees form an important part of Earth’s ecosystem. They support the growth of trees, flowers, and plants, which serve as shelter for other species of insects and animals. Bees are tiny yet great contributors to the Earth’s complex ecosystems.
Want to find out more about bees and all their interesting characteristics and contributions to nature? Let’s get busy as a bee!
Basic Information About Bees in Spanish
Bees are found almost anywhere in the world, especially near insect-pollinated plants. This is the scientific classification of bees in Spanish:
|Sin order (Clade):||Anthophila|
7 Bee Families
Beside this scientific classification, bees are also separated into seven families:
1. Los Andrénidos
Los andrénidos, or andrenidae, are a large group of ground-nesting bees. They are also commonly known as mining bees or abejas mineras in Spanish. They live in warm and arid areas.
2. Los Ápidos
Known as Apidae in English, los ápidos include over 5,700 species of bees, including bumblebees, honey bees, and stingless bees. Most of these bees are valuable pollinators that help the growth of natural habitats and are used for agricultural crops.
3. Los Colétidos
Known as the colletiade family, these bees are commonly known as plasterer bees or polyester bees. These names come from their nesting-building methods. They smooth the hive walls with secretions that dry into a cellophane-like lining.
The 2,000+ kinds of bees that belong to this family are solitary bees, but they like to nest together. Los colétidos are found worldwide.
4. Los Halíctidos
Known as the halictidae family in English, this is the second most large family of bees. They are dark red or green in color and have a metallic appearance. Males have yellow markings in the face area. These bees are commonly known as sweat bees because they are attracted to human perspiration.
5. Los Megaquílidos
Also known as megachilidae in English, these bees are solitary and carry pollen in their abdomen. The most popular bees of this family are the mason bees and leaf cutter bees.
In this family, the bees are also divided by how they build their nests. Carder bees use soil, leaves, and animal hair or fibers. Resin bees use tree resin for their nests.
6. Los Melítidos
Known as abejas melítidas, or melittidae in English, this family has 200 species. They inhabit Africa and the northern temperate zone. These bees are so old that experts have found them fossilized in amber deposits!
7. Stenotritidae Bees
This family of bees doesn’t have a name in Spanish. It’s the smallest family of bees in the world. They only inhabit Australian territory.
Now that you know about the seven families of bees that live on planet Earth, it is time to learn the names of the most popular bees in Spanish!
|La abejas melíferas||Honey bee|
|La abeja sin aguijón / El pegón||Stingless bee|
|La abejas albañil||Mason bee|
|El abejorro carpintero / El cigarrón / El bubute||Carpenter bee|
|La abeja megachile||Megachile bee|
|La abeja del sudor||Sweat bee|
Anatomía de las Abejas
La anatomía (the anatomy) of a bee is pretty simple. Most bees are perfect pollinators and some are even honey and wax makers!
Let’s learn about the anatomy of a bee in Spanish!
El cuerpo duro de la abeja se llama exoesqueleto.
The hard part of the bee’s body is called an exoskeleton.
El cuerpo de la abeja se divide en tres: cabeza, tórax y abdomen.
The body of the bee is divided into three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen.
Las abejas tienen seis piernas en total para poder caminar.
Bees have six legs in total to be able to walk.
Las antenas de las abejas les sirven para encontrar las flores.
The antennae of the bees help them to find flowers.
Los pelitos en el cuerpo de la abeja son útiles para transportar polen.
The little hairs on the body of the bee are useful to transport pollen.
Las abejas tienen dos pares de alas.
Bees have two pairs of wings.
Algunas abejas tienen aguijón, otras no.
Some bees have a stinger; others don’t.
Want to practice your Spanish even more to be able to talk about bees like a pro? Here is a little vocabulary list to help you with that!
|Las alas delanteras||Front wings|
|Las alas traseras||Back wings|
|Los pelitos||Little hairs|
La Jerarquía de las Abejas
The hierarchy of bees in Spanish is called jerarquía de las abejas, and this means that bees live and work in an orderly and established way, where each one fulfills a role.
Bees live in colonias (colonies) which are known as enjambres (swarms). They live inside structures called colmentas (hives). Inside the hives, bees are divided into three important social rolls:
La Abeja Reina
Known as queen bee in English, these bees are the most important inside a hive, because they are in charge of laying eggs. Queen bees only eat and lay eggs, and there’s just one per hive. Queen bees are normally the largest in the swarm. The queen bee only eats something called jalea real (royal jelly) that’s produced by worker bees.
La Abeja Obrera
Las abejas obreras (workers bees) work for the colony to survive. Worker bees are in charge of building the hive, feeding the queen bee, taking care of the eggs, and protecting the colony.
They’re the principal producers of la miel (honey) and la cera (beeswax). Worker bees are all female and they are the ones that produce the jalea real (royal jelly) for the queen.
Known as drones in English, los zánganos are all the male bees in the colony that are in charge of helping the queen bee reproduce. Their only task is to fertilize the queen bee so she can lay eggs and keep the colony working.
How Do Bees Survive?
Each kind of bee faces different challenges when it comes to survival.
Have you ever wondered how bees survive in the winter? Some bees, just as wasps and other insects, enter a state of hibernación (hibernation) and they wake up in spring. Other bees, like honey bees, survive inside their hives thanks to their supply of honey that they collected through all spring and summer.
What happens when bees feel they are in danger? They attack! Most bees have an aguijón (stinger) that they use to defend themselves when in danger. Bees usually die after they sting someone.
Bees are adaptable when it comes to the construction of their hives. They find amazing spots for their hives, which may be a little inconvenient for humans. Instead of killing them, ask an expert to move the hive, and they will adapt and move as long as their queen is still in the colony.
Bees are amazing workers and builders! They are responsible for pollination all around the world! Thanks to them, we have flower fields and forests! What’s more, they provide important products for human consumption and enjoyment.
La apicultura (apiculture/beekeeping) is the occupation of owning and breeding bees for their products.
La miel (honey), is made by bees all around the world. Honey is a perfect natural sweetener, and it’s a great remedy for cuts and sore throats.Honey also helps us digest better and faster.
Bees produce wax to build their colonies inside the hives. For human consumption, beeswax is perfect for several things:
- Balsamo labial (lip balm)
- Cera para pulir los muebles de madera (Wax to polish wooden furniture)
- Crema humectante (moisturizing lotion)
- Velas (Candles)
- Pomadas relajantes (relaxing ointments)
La Jalea Real
La jalea real (royal jelly) is the food the worker bees produce to feed their queen and the larvae. Humans use it to make creams and lotions with revitalizing benefits for the blood.
Royal jelly is delicious for queen bees and their larvae, but not so much for humans, so it’s normally consumed with milk, juice, or water.
Time to Be Busy Bees!
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