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Insect Invasion: Ants, Bees, and Wasps

Hymenoptera include famous examples of social insects, such as honey bees true ants; these insects have developed regimented social systems in which members are divided into worker, drone, and queen castes. Such social hymenoptera may live together in nests or hives of many thousands of individuals, all descended form a single queen. Not all hymenoptera are social. However; many live a solitary life, coming together only for a brief mating.

The hymenoptera have a complete life cycle: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult stages. But who's got the wings? Except for worker ants, most adults have two pairs of wings.

The Hymentoptera have two sets of wings, usually one being longer than the other. The shorter pair can be very difficult to see. Like Hymeno, the Greek God of Marriage, the name is appropriate not only for the membranous nature of the wings, but also for the manner in which they are "joined together as one" by the Hamuli or microscopic hooks. The coupling of their wings enable the insect to have a well controlled, rapid flight.

There are two orders in the Hymenoptera family:

Symphyta (Sawflies and Horntails) have a broad junction between the thorax and abdomen.

Aprocrita (Ants, Bees, and Wasps) have a narrow junction between the thorax and abdomen. 

 Got ants in your plants? Although some species are regarded as pests (e.g., sawflies, gall wasps, and some ants), most members are extremely beneficial. Either as natural enemies of insect pests (parasitic wasps) or as pollinators of flowering plant; having a symbiotic relationship. Flowers pollinated by bees are typically yellow or blue and often have patterns visible only under ultraviolet light, which bees can see. Bees are responsible for over 70% of agricultural crops.

Commonly known as cuckoo wasps or emerald wasps, the hymnopteran family Chrysididae is a very large cosmopolitan group of 3,000 different parasitoid or kleptoparasitic wasps, with brilliant metallic, iridescent colors. Typically associated with solitary bee and wasp species. They are capable of folding their bodies over rolling into a ball as a defensive mechanism.

When you see these jeweled-colored insects, such as the Sweat Bee, think of the Iridesecent Glux, a non-toxic, non-drying out prismatic putty! In developing this Glux, a new word for blue was created: “hoovaloo,” meaning an intelligent blue. This GLUX is just full of intelligent blues as well as a spectrum of other colors. It’s quite beautiful to look at & satisfying to smush & stretch! Made in the USA.


Get more concept content on the Social Media platforms.
Watch the two replays on Instagram or Facebook to listen to the read aloud Honey Bee by author Kristin Hall and learn about the above facts and a iridescent wasp craft using clear nail polish and basic craft supplies!

Livestreams occur Tuesdays with Science Literacy Live and Thursdays with Science Facts + Crafts Live; both at 1:30 PM. Right along with the Live lessons is a collection that encourages learning through endless play and exploration. 
Thank you for reading this Science Lesson Blog written by certified educator of Philanthrolab Science Shop Ms. Stacey The Science Lady. With over 12 years of teaching experience and creative Science curriculum development, her mission is to inspire children to have a love of Science. She is the owner of Philanthrolab Science Shop. An online shop of 50+ Fun & Affordable Science Toys - ALL $10 or LESS! Featuring The At Home Play Pak, Satchel of Science, and The DIY Sci Kit 

There is a Free Infographic at the bottom of the page with all the facts above! 

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