Pollinators uphold ecosystems all over the planet; they are essentially the main distributers of all of our major food crops here on earth. Up to 80% of all plant species are pollinated mostly by insects and nearly three-quarters of the world's most common crops require insect pollination, some of these crops include tea, chili, berries, alfalfa, coffee, fruits, and nuts! In Texas, bees carry out most pollination but we do have other native pollinators such as bats, hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies, and beetles. For the purpose of this research assignment, I have chosen the European Honeybee (Apis Mellifera) to study and take a closer look into what exactly this honeybee does in aiding the pollination process around Texas. .
The European honeybee, also known as the western honeybee is named so because of its ability to produce large amounts of honey, is one of the most well known pollinator species today. European colonists first brought this honeybee to North America around 380 years ago, although the honeybee is not necessarily native to Texas it has been here long enough for it to call Texas home. Since the 1950s the European honeybee has been in a rapid decline throughout the United States due to agricultural infestation, diseases, pesticides and parasites. The loss of this species would crate a great deficit amongst the agricultural reproduction of Texas because European honeybees do pollinate crops such as apples, cranberries, melons and broccoli. .
European honeybees develop through the four-stage process of complete metamorphosis: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. Honeybees also exhibit social organization and sharing of work and resources by the respective castes of bees. There are many different roles for the different bees in the colony; the drone bees' mate with an unmated queen from another colony and the queen is the only egg layer throughout the colony. The other various workers carry out all other works within the colony: defense, maintenance and nectar collection and honey production.