Honey bees get their common name from the sweet yellowish to brownish fluid they make from the nectar of flowers and use as food. Honey bees not only provide honey and wax but as pollinators are of far greater importance. The honey bee is the most important insect in agriculture due to its role as a pollinator. More than 130 agriculture crops are pollinated by honey bees in the United States, and honey bees are involved in about 80% of the foods consumed by Americans.
The honey bee is a social insect living in large colonies ranging from 20,000 to 80,000. It is the only social bee or wasp having a true perennial colony surviving many years.
Honey bees are not aggressive and do not search for something to attack. Instead, they are defensive and will attack only whatever seems to threaten the colony. Bees in a swarm are very docile and not likely to sting because they harbor no food or young and therefore, have nothing to defend. Likewise, honey bees encountered away from the hive are unlikely to sting unless provoked. However, if the hive entrance is approached, the guard bees can become very aggressive; do not approach hives without proper protection.
Weather can affect the temperament of bees, and on windy, cloudy days when they are unable to forage for nectar, pollen, etc., they can become more aggressive and attack without provocation. There are three types of individuals in a honey bee colony: the queen (a fertile female), worker (sterile female), and drone (male). Drones are relatively large and buzz, menacingly, but lack a sting and are harmless. The workers build and repair the hive, forage for nectar and pollen, produce wax and honey, feed the young, and protect the hive.