By Lauren Preble
Guest experience gallery interpreter
Spring is upon us, and I am sure you have witnessed quite a few more honey bees (Apis mellifera; native to Europe) fluttering around in the breezy Phoenix afternoons. But have you ever taken the time to recognize and appreciate the true value of the beloved honey bee? Despite the nasty sting of the honey bee with which you may have personal experience, these bees are not aggressive in nature. In fact, these bees help us much more than hurt us!
How, you ask? Honey bees act as pollinators, meaning that the worker bees of the colony actively seek out both nectar and pollen in flowers as a source of nutrition for the rest of the hive. And, have you ever noticed that bees have tiny hairs on their bodies? Pollen from one flower will stick to these hairs, allowing pollen from one flower to be transported to another flower as the bee continues its search for both nectar and pollen. The transfer of pollen from one flower to another will result in fertilization, and eventually, the production of a fruit! This process is known as cross-pollination.