Answers to Kids' Questions About Bees
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
The following questions were answered by entomologists Steve Kutcher and John VanDyk.
Q: Do all bees sting?
A: Only the workers have a sting. The drones are designed only to mate with the queen, and the queen has fully developed ovaries instead of a sting.
Q: What is the bee's stinger made of so it can push through the skin?
A: The stinger is made of chitin, a special kind of substance that makes up most of insects' outsides. Chitin can be hard or soft and flexible. In the case of the bee, it is very hard and extremely effective!
Q: Why do bees like the smell of nectar?
A: Nectar is very high in energy. Bees use up a lot of energy flying around. It's kind of like someone offering you a big drink of cool water after you've been running around outside and are really thirsty.
Q: What is the situation with killer bees in the U.S.?
A: The first permanent colony in the U.S. was found in Texas in 1990. They are now established in southern portions of New Mexico, Arizona, and California. We do know that their northward movement has slowed dramatically. Maybe they are reaching a point where they can't handle the cold winters — I hope so!