No, actually. It is the female bees that sting. Why? Because the stinger is part of the reproductive system! What?? Yeah! It actually lays the eggs (though only the queen does this)!
Several other interesting facts:
- Even though female honeybees have barbed stingers (which fatally wound the bee when they leave the stinger in the victim), this only happens with thicker skins (like humans). They can and will sting smaller creatures, including other insects, and not die.
- The queen bee’s stinger is not barbed. She can sting repeatedly (though she will not usually leave the hive).
- Only honeybees have such a barb. Other types of bees will not die as a result of barbs.
- How many other types of bees are there, you ask? 25,000 (“twenty-five-freaking-thousand”) that we know of.
- Bees will generally only sting you when there is a threat to the hive. When they are foraging, they will usually not present a threat.
- Bees can not see the color red.
- Bees do actually eat the honey.
A look at the stinger, up-close:
Even closer. The stinger is wicked:
A close-up of the barbed-edge:
Now, look at the general anatomy of the bee:
I did not expect to see so many recognizable parts. Notice that they actually have a second, “honey” stomach. This is where they process and transport the honey.
For reference, this is the anatomy of an ant:
Notice that ants also have a second stomach. Apparently this stores food meant to be shared and, even though the ant can use what is in this second stomach, the process does not actually work as well when the ants are isolated.