Closely related zoologically to both wasps and ants, bees are a type of flying insect that are a crucial part of the world's ecosystem, as they pollinate plants. They also produce beeswax and honey, important materials in human food and candle-making.

There are 20,000 species of bees (as far as we know). These species are organised into seven to nine families. There are however possibly many more families that haven't yet been described so the number of families is probably higher.

What's unique about bees is that they are omnipresent on the planet, on every continent, other than Antarctica, wherever plants that need pollination flower.

Bees bodies, heads and antennae are adapted to feed on nectar on pollen. The former provides energy and the latter proteins and other essential nutrients. The pollen is mainly for feeding larvae.

The anatomy of bees identifies an elongated 'proboscis', otherwise known as a 'tongue', which allows them to access the nectar from flowers. The antennae are comprised of twelve segments in the female of the species and thirteen in the male. Every bee has two pairs of wings. The fore part is the larger of the two.

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