Do Bees have teeth? How do they sting?

Thursday, January 20, 2011
?honey bee on yellow flower
Look ma, I'm using my mandibles!
Do bees have teeth? The answer is that bees do not have teeth. They have mandibles. Except for the Queen Bee. Source: My Wife. The End.

Now that that's sorted, I can talk about more important issues. It was Billy Piper the former jailbait singer from Britain that once sang the line, "Honey to the bee, that's me for you" - as such is the regard humans have for bees, we like to relate our stories about love and life to bees. Hence the expression 'birds and the bees'.

billy piper sexy bee
She used to bee so sweet and innocent before she did that show on hookers....

Anyways, I have no idea where this line of reasoning is taking me, perhaps I should have eaten a meal today. All I know is that sex sells. Now that we have that settled, let's check out some cool pictures of bees. Not bears for once. Just bees. And maybe some birds eating bees. But not birds eating out bees. That would be the wrong demographic for Animals Eating Animals to focus on....

honey beer pollination
Pollen makes the world go round. Like money.
Purple is the new black for any fashionable bee this season
The pictures of bees in the above pictures, Billie Piper aside, suggest that bees are friendly enough. But what about all this talk of killer bees? The ones that can sting a man to death?

Africanized honey bees, known colloquially as "killer bees," are hybrids of the African honey bee with various European honey bees such as the Italian bee thrown in to spice things up a little bit. Mamma Mia!

These bees are apprently far more aggressive than the European subspecies. Small swarms of African honey bees are capable of taking over European honey beehives by invading the hive and establishing their own queen after killing the European queen. Killer diller eh?

sting of a bee dragging from skin
When I was a wee nipper on a Scout camp, I got a bee sting on my finger and bugger me it hurt. The scout leader took one look at it and said he'd have to cut my finger off with his knife because it was the worst bee sting he'd ever seen. That sure cheered me up! Bee stings often affect people as a result of the histamine injection - the body reacts to the bee's 'poison' and swells up as a result. Check out this bee sting to the face below:

bee sting puffed face due to allergic reaction
Lady stung near her eye
It's widely known that bees can only sting once and then they die however this is a partial misconception: although the bee's stinger is in fact barbed so that it lodges in the victim's skin, tearing loose from the bee's abdomen and leading to its death in minutes, this only happens if the skin of the victim is sufficiently thick, such as a human's. Generally speaking, nature didn't really intend for honey bees to attack humans, just other bees.

allergic reaction on face to bee sting
Stung on the lips. Literally, he has bee sting lips!
The honey bee's sting is considered to have evolved for inter-bee combat between members of different hives, and the barbs serve to improve penetration of the chitinous plates of another insect's exoskeleton. So nature designed honey bees to sting other bees all day and not die, but when they sting a thick skinned animal, it's all over red rover.

Some people have no fears about getting stung by bees and are happy to wear a swarm of bees as their Halloween costume:

body completely covered by bees

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