Worker bees and drones grow to be 15 millimetres long, and the queen reaches 20 millimetres. The abdomen is quite plump and mainly brown with dark and pale bands. The whole body is covered in fine hairs, and on the hind pair of legs the bee has special “baskets” in which it collects pollen.
Wild populations of honeybees inhabit rocky and woody regions, while domestic populations, cultivated by humans, are kept in artificial constructions. They are found in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Honeybee colonies comprise a large number of workers, a small number of drones and one queen. They have a sophisticated social and communication system. Honeybees collect pollen and nectar from flowers and produce honey that serves as a food reserve in winter. Honey and larvae are kept in the cells of a honeycomb made of wax. Using a complicated system of signals, bees are able to transfer information about newly discovered fields of flowers. When hibernating, bees flutter their wings in order to maintain a specific temperature inside the hive. Bees sting once when defending themselves, after which they die.