What the Heck Is That?!?!

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What the Heck is That?!?! is a new series from N.C. Cooperative Extension, Currituck Center where we’ll be posting an image and article of a mysterious insect that’ll make you wonder “what the heck is that?!?!” Each article will test your knowledge with an entomological oddity followed by a short educational segment on when and where you might find these wacky bugs in North Carolina. Test your expertise below with this first installment of “What the Heck is That?!?!”

Honey Bee Larvae            

If you guessed honey bee (Apis mellifera), North Carolina’s state insect you are correct! This image is of an immature (larvae) honey bee that has been removed from the hive. Queen honey bees lay eggs in the honeycomb and the developing bee will stay there until they molt to adulthood. Because of this, immature bees are never seen out of the hive. What may be seen out of the hive this time of year are worker bees. Worker bees are female honey bees that collect pollen and nectar. These bees come out of the hive in search of food on days when temperatures rise above 50°F. Make sure to “bee” on the lookout for these fuzzy fliers once temperatures start to warm!

bees on comb

For more information on honey bees and to stay informed on current apiculture and beekeeping practices visit the Apiculture & Beekeeping page.

If you have content (images, ideas, etc.) you’d like to have featured in the upcoming installments of “What the Heck is That?!?!,” email or call Adam Formella at adam_formella@ncsu.edu or 252-232-2262.