Apis is Latin for bee, while mellifera means honey.
Fun Fact: “
Workers forage for food (nectar and pollen) for the entire colony. They use their tongues to suck up nectar, and store it in the anterior section of the digestive tract, called the crop. They collect pollen by grooming it off the bodies and onto special structures on their hind legs called pollen baskets.
Returning foragers transfer the nectar they have collected to younger worker bees that in turn feed other members of the hive, or process it into honey for long-term storage. They add enzymes to the honey, and store it in open cells where the water can evaporate, concentrating the sugars.” (ADW)
Habitat: They are endemic to all over parts of Europe, western Asia, and Africa. They are invasive to the rest of the continents (other than Antartica).
Ecosystem Role: They play a key role in pollinating many wild and cultivated plants. They feed on pollen and nectar from flowers that are blooming, while providing food for many species of bird, wasps, spiders (like crab spiders), while others like honey badgers, bears, and chimpanzees feast on the honey collected.