State Symbols USA home page

Google

  SITEMAP  

  QUIZ  

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
USA (national)

North Carolina State Insect:

Honeybee on willow bloom - click to see all state insects
Honeybee on willow bloom photo by Brad Smith (BugMan50) on Flickr -
noncommercial use permitted with attribution. See All State Insects.

Honeybee

See honeybee video below

North Carolina designated the honeybee as official state insect in 1973. Bee pollination is critical to plant and human survival - beeswax and honey are just surplus gifts from this tiny wonder of nature. The plant world expends a lot of energy attracting bees and other insects with brilliantly colored flowers and sweet nectar (nectar is produced solely to attract pollinating insects). The honeybee is recognized as an official state symbol in seventeen states (see State Insects), primarilly because honeybees play such an important role in agriculture.

Honeybees live in hives of up to 80,000 individuals. A hive consists of one queen bee (who can live 8 years and lay over 1,500 eggs per day), a small group of male drones (on hand to fertilize a new queen on her nuptial flight, should one be produced), and the remaining vast majority of sterile female worker bees.

Dripping honey - click to see all state insects
Photo of dripping honey; photo by Scott Bauer| USDA Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery: Illustrations. See All State Insects.

Young worker bees are called house bees - they construct the hive and maintain the comb, care for the eggs and larvae, tend the queen and drones, regulate temperature, and defend the hive. Older workers are field bees - they gather nectar and forage for pollen, water and plant resins used in hive construction. Worker bees have an extra stomach and special pollen baskets on their hind legs to transport the booty. Empirical evidence suggests that the honeybee "dances" to communicate the location of a nectar discovery to other honeybees. Worker bees only live about 6 weeks in summer months, but honeybees born in fall survive until the following spring.

The first bees appear in the fossil record dating 40 million years ago and the honeybee has remained physically and socially unchanged for 30 million years. Probably originating in tropical Africa, they were brought to the New World with the first Spanish and English colonists, quickly escaping to the wild and eventually populating the entire western hemisphere. American Indians called the honeybee "white man's flies."

Source:
NC State Symbols - Insect - Honeybee: Museum Nat Science
Honeybee: Great Plains Nature Center
Honey Bees Across America by B. Kellar - OR Beekeepers
Links:
Enter the Hive: PBS
All State Insects


    

 

North Carolina Symbols & Icons

mammal - dog
bird - reptile
flower - plant
insect - shell
horse - fish 1 - 2
tree 1 - 2
wildflower - soil
rock - stone
fruit - vegetable
berries: red blue

flag - seal
quarter - motto
colors- language
name - nickname
pottery - boat
song - theater
dance 1 - 2
tartan - beverage
academy
festivals - toast
 

Share |

Backyard Birdwatcher by Audubon
Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher - create a backyard bird sanctuary with the trees and plants that attract them

Organic Gardening Magazine (2-year subscription)
Organic Gardening Magazine
(2-year subscription)

Attracting Birds, Butterflies & Backyard Wildlife - National Wildlife Federation
Attracting Birds, Butterflies & Backyard Wildlife
by National Wildlife Federation

Google

What are your State Symbols?
State Symbols USA is a nonprofit organization promoting the conservation
and appreciation of our natural treasures and cultural heritage.