開主選單
Wikipedia:點樣睇生物分類框How to read a taxobox
蜜蜂
一隻西方蜜蜂(Apis mellifera)喺度採緊花蜜。
一隻西方蜜蜂Apis mellifera)喺度採緊花蜜。
物種分類
動物界 Animalia
節肢動物門 Arthropoda
昆蟲綱 Insecta
膜翅目 Hymenoptera
亞目 (Subordo): 細腰亞目 Apocrita
蜜蜂科 Apidae
蜜蜂屬 Apis

蜜蜂粵拼mat6 fung1英文honey bee學名Apis拉丁文入面「蜜蜂」噉解[1])係嘅一種。佢哋喺全世界總共有 7 個品種同埋 44 個次品種。同其他蜂零舍唔同嘅係,蜜蜂識得採花蜜,跟手仲曉用花蜜整蜜糖嚟餵佢哋啲幼蟲,仲會用嚟起一啲大過佢哋身體好多嘅蜜蜂竇,並且成大羣噉住喺入面。除咗噉,蜜蜂仲係真核生物當中唯一一種係啲細胞有礦物沉積現象嘅[2][3]

蜜蜂具有真社會性(eusociality),一羣蜜蜂入面會有好仔細嘅分工。一個蜜蜂竇入面一般會有一隻蜂后、10,000 到 150,000 隻工蜂、以及係 500 到 1,500 隻蜜蜂公,而部份嘅蜜蜂竇會有 2 隻蜂后,頭嗰兩種蜜蜂都係,當中得蜂后有生殖能力-即係話工蜂係冇生殖能力嘅乸。於是乎,成個蜜蜂竇嘅分工如下:蜜蜂公負責同蜂后交配;蜂后因為係成個竇唯一一隻有生殖能力嘅乸,所以要負責猛噉產卵,等個蜜蜂竇有得維持數量;工蜂就要負責日做夜做,周圍飛嚟飛去搵食養起個蜂后同班蜜蜂公,工蜂朝頭早採蜜、夜晚就釀蜜,而喺個竇有危險嗰陣,佢哋會負責攻擊入侵者[4][5][6]

對於人類嚟講,蜜蜂呢種昆蟲好有價值。喺經濟上,啲工蜂喺採蜜嗰陣時會為啲果樹傳播花粉,係好多種農作物傳花粉嘅重要媒介[7],而且蜜糖又可以用嚟整好多種嘢食。因為蜜蜂噉有用,所以西人不嬲都有養開蜜蜂,喺大航海時代英國人西班牙人仲由亞洲歐洲將蜜蜂帶咗去本嚟冇乜蜜蜂嘅美洲嗰度,令到蜜蜂去勻全世界。到咗廿一世紀,蜜蜂經已係全球經濟當中不可或缺嘅一部份[3][8][9]。因為蜜蜂嘅呢啲價值,有好多科學家專職研究蜜蜂-蜜蜂學(melittology)係昆蟲學嘅一個子領域,顧名思義專門研究蜜蜂[10][11]

生物學研究

 
一隻典型蜜蜂乸嘅身體結構圖;同其他昆蟲一樣,佢哋嘅身體分做頭、胸、同腹三橛。

食乜

蜜蜂主要食嘅係花蜜同花粉,佢哋能夠由唔同種嘅花蜜同花粉嗰度攞到嗮佢哋所需嘅營養:

花蜜

  • 花蜜會提供到水份同埋蔗醣(sucrose)等嘅碳水化合物。蜜蜂食得最多嘅單醣菓醣(fructose)同葡萄醣(glucose),而佢哋血淋巴(簡單啲講就係無脊椎動物)入面最常見嘅海藻醣(trehalose)-一種由兩舊葡萄醣分子組成嘅雙醣[12]。一隻蜜蜂成蟲每日至少要食 4 微克嘅糖份,而幼蟲每日就至少要食 59.4 微克嘅碳水化合物先至可以正常噉發育[13]
  • 蜜蜂同其他大多數嘅生物一樣,要有水先至生存到。蜜蜂喺整嘢食或者夏天幫個竇做降溫嗰陣都要用到水。花蜜入面含有豐富嘅水份,一般嚟講,蜜蜂靠採花蜜就應付到佢哋對水嘅需求。有陣時唔夠花蜜或者天口㷫得滯嘅話,蜜蜂識由小溪同水池等嘅地方攞水用[14]

花粉

睇埋:蜂花粉
  • 花粉係蜜蜂唯一嘅自然蛋白質來源:一隻蜜蜂成蟲每日都會食 3.4 至 4.3 微克嘅花粉嚟滿足佢身體嘅蛋白質需求,而一隻幼蟲要正常噉成長就需要每日食 125 至 187.5 微克嘅花粉,並且吸收 25 至 37.5 微克嘅蛋白質[13]。呢啲蛋白質入面包括多種嘅氨基酸(amino acid),當中有十種係特別緊要嘅:甲硫氨酸色氨酸精氨酸賴氨酸組氨酸苯丙氨酸異亮氨酸蘇氨酸亮氨酸、同纈氨酸。如果一羣蜜蜂喺呢啲氨基酸當中是但缺少咗啲,佢哋會失去湊幼蟲嘅能力,甚至會死得好快[15]
  • 除咗蛋白質,花粉仲會提供到(lipid)[13]維他命ADE、同 K 呢啲溶到喺脂肪嗰度嘅維他命一般都唔係必要嘅,但係研究顯示呢啲維他命會幫到提高養得成嘅蜜蜂嘅數量[13]
  • 蜜蜂又會由花粉嗰度將植物固醇食落肚,等自己身體可以生產菜籽固醇等嘅固醇(sterol),負責湊幼蟲嘅工蜂仲曉由個竇啲嘢食當中揀啲固醇出嚟去選擇性噉餵俾啲幼蟲食[13]

傳花粉

 
圖隻蜜蜂身上細粒黃色嗰舊就係蜂花粉。

蜜蜂係一種普偏性嘅傳粉者,對好多種開花植物繁殖嚟講都有一定嘅重要性:一隻蜜蜂捐入去朵度採蜜嗰陣,會俾啲花粉黐上身,而跟住落嚟當佢再飛去第啲花嗰度採蜜嘅時候,就會幫手將花粉由一朵花傳去第朵同種嘅花嗰度-花粉喺同種開花植物之間嘅傳播係開花植物繁殖必經嘅過程。一個蜜蜂竇平均每年會收集到成 66 (30 公斤)嘅花粉[16],而且蜜蜂係一種普遍嘅傳粉者,會幫多種花傳花粉,好少可會好似某啲昆蟲噉,淨係去死一種花嗰度。蜜蜂嘅傳粉作用對人類嚟講都有用:西方蜜蜂俾人類廣泛噉攞嚟幫啲有商業價值嘅農作品-包括咗多種生果蔬菜-傳粉,據講每年令到全球農作物嘅價值總量增加咗成 9% [17]

驚乜

蜜蜂主要嘅天敵包括咗胡蜂蠄蟝、某啲品種嘅飛蛾螟蟲、同埋會食蟲嘅動植物,瓦蟎亦都會危害蜜蜂[18]。除咗噉之外,有多種大型嘅動物,例如係同埋人類,都會為咗食蜜糖而走去搞蜜蜂嘅竇,蜜蜂竇受大型動物破壞可以造成蜂后死亡-而蜂后死亡會對一個蜂羣造成毀滅性嘅打擊[19]

大蠟螟

大蠟螟(greater wax moth;Galleria mellonella)係一種會對蜜蜂做成危害嘅飛蛾,亦係最令養蜂人頭痕嘅害蟲之一。大蠟螟興喺蜜蜂竇入面生蛋,佢哋啲幼蟲孵咗出嚟之後,會走去食個竇嘅牆,喺個竇入面留低一個一個窿,呢啲窿會對住喺嗰個竇嘅蜜蜂造成各種危害:大蠟螟幼蟲留低嘅窿會佈滿咗啲絲,呢啲絲會纏住蜜蜂,搞到佢哋可能成幾日都郁唔到,有啲蜜蜂仲會因為郁唔到而監生餓死;呢啲窿又可以搞到啲蜜蜂幼蟲跌出去個竇外面或者啲蜜糖漏出去。除咗噉,大蠟螟無論係幼蟲定成蟲,身上都會帶有好多可以惹到蜜蜂嘅病原體,好似係以色列急性癱瘓病毒(Israeli acute paralysis virus)同埋黑皇后細胞病毒(black queen cell virus)噉,呢啲病原體都足以殺死蜜蜂[20]

自衛

 
一條由隻蜜蜂身上甩咗出嚟嘅針

針個敵人

內文: 蜜蜂針

蜜蜂嘅針同自衛最有啦掕。當一隻蜜蜂想攻擊敵人嗰陣,佢會將佢支針拮落個敵人身上,支針帶有一啲毒液-蜂毒(apitoxin)[21]。支針好多時喺拮完個敵人之後,就會由隻蜜蜂嘅身體嗰度甩出嚟(自割),但就算係噉,因為支針有佢自己嘅神經節等嘅結構,所以仲可以繼續插喺個敵人身上同埋向佢注射毒液,毒液會令個敵人有痛嘅感覺[22]。除咗噉之外,當一隻蜜蜂感覺到有危險嗰陣,佢會釋放一種費洛蒙,呢種費洛蒙會刺激佢四圍嘅同伴,令到佢哋一齊進入攻擊狀態。分泌呢種費洛蒙嘅(gland)同隻蜜蜂支針有關係-插咗入敵人體內支針會繼續係噉釋放嗰種費洛蒙,令到其他蜜蜂跟住一齊攻擊個敵人[23]

蜜蜂同其他多數嘅蜂唔同嘅係,佢哋啲工蜂嘅針上面有啲好似倒勾噉嘅刺喺度。如果隻蜜蜂拮嘅敵人係一啲皮膚有返噉上下厚嘅動物-例如係人類-啲刺通常會令到支針由隻蜜蜂個腹嗰度甩出嚟,而隻冇咗支針嘅蜜蜂會喺幾分鐘之內死亡。呢種構造之所以會進化出嚟,可能係因為蜜蜂要應付脊椎動物用嘅-除非插咗入肉,支針多數唔會甩出嚟[24]

波個敵人

蜜蜂另一種出名嘅自衛方法係去「波」個敵人:蜜蜂嘅針可以拮穿其他昆蟲嘅外骨骼關節,蜂后之間打交都會用,但當蜜蜂要應付一啲大隻啲嘅昆蟲-好似係黃蜂等-嗰陣,好少可會用佢哋嘅針;喺呢啲情況下,蜜蜂用嘅策略通常係去「波」個敵人-啲工蜂會一大羣噉樣湧上去個敵人身上,用自己嘅身體包住個敵人,形成一個噉,所以呢種行為有咗個英文名,叫「balling」[25],而廣東話直譯就係「波」個敵人(當中個「波」係動詞);個波形成咗之後,啲工蜂就會係噉震動佢哋嘅肌肉嚟產生熱力,呢啲熱力再加埋喺個波入面二氧化碳濃度提升會殺死個敵人[26][27]。有陣時,當啲工蜂唔妥個蜂后嗰陣,佢哋都會用呢種策略殺死個蜂后,呢種行為俾養蜂人同昆蟲學家稱為「波個蜂后」(balling the queen)[28]

 
一羣工蜂用身體包住敵人-「波」緊個敵人。

其他方法

蜜蜂仲有其他自衛策略:啲住喺開放式蜜蜂竇嘅蜜蜂品種興用「蜂浪」式嘅防衛-喺感覺到有危險嗰陣,佢哋會成羣噉喺個竇嘅表面嗰度有節奏噉郁佢哋嘅身體同翼,形成一股「蜂浪」嚟作為一個警告信號[29];而一啲住喺窿窿罅罅地方嘅蜜蜂品種-包括東方蜜蜂同西方蜜蜂-就興喺個竇嗰個好窄嘅入口度擺啲工蜂喺度站崗,檢查住有冇入侵者;另一樣用嚟對抗個竇嘅入侵者嘅行為係「身體震動」-啲工蜂會將佢哋嘅腹好似鐘擺噉搖吓搖吓嚟警告個入侵者[30]。上述呢啲行為通常都係喺工蜂身上先會見到-因為蜜蜂竇冚唪唥都係由啲工蜂負責保護嘅[30]

溝通

 
蜜蜂用跳舞嗰陣嘅角度同方向嚟向同伴表達搵到嘅物件嘅方向同距離。

蜜蜂曉好似其他昆蟲噉用各種嘅化合物氣味嚟同啲同伴溝通,但佢哋仲有一種獨特嘅語言-跳舞。

蜜蜂舞

內文: 蜜蜂舞

蜜蜂舞(waggle dance)係蜜蜂嘅獨特語言。當一隻蜜蜂去完搵食返到個竇度嗰陣,佢會以某啲特定嘅方向、角度、同姿勢嚟喺啲同伴面前飛嚟飛去,好似跳舞噉。佢哋跳呢啲舞嗰陣飛嘅方向同角度等資訊係一種語言-佢哋靠噉嚟話俾同伴知佢去搵食嗰陣見到嘅物件-好似係花同水源噉-係喺邊個方向同埋離個竇有幾遠。例如係一隻西方蜜蜂喺成功噉搵到嘢食返到竇嗰陣會跳舞,而研究發現,佢跳舞嗰陣嘅飛行角度同軌跡會令同伴知道佢搵到嗰朵花喺邊個方向同有幾遠[31][32]

喺呢個過程入面,蜜蜂用咗一啲抽象嘅方法嚟向同伴傳達訊息,用唔同嘅角度同軌跡代表唔同嘅意思,就好似人類講嘢嗰陣用唔同嘅嚟代表唔同意思噉-廣義上,蜜蜂舞經已可以算得上係一種語言。呢種身體語言會隨品種而有異-唔同品種嘅蜜蜂可能會用同一個角度或者姿勢嚟代表唔同嘅嘢,就好似人類當中講唔同語言嘅族群有陣時會用同樣嘅聲嚟代表唔同嘅嘢噉(好似「bong」呢個音閩南話係「王」噉解,但係廣東話聽落似個「幫」字)[33]

智能

蜜蜂有一樣令到科學界好奇嘅嘢係,佢哋有高度嘅智能:一隻蜜蜂嘅係就係得一粒芝麻噉大,但密度哺乳類腦嘅差唔多 10 倍,有成 100 萬個神經細胞[34];蜜蜂有能力學嘢、明白時間、仲有好犀利嘅記憶-蜜蜂採完花蜜之後能夠記住朵花嘅位置記成幾日噉耐,而且就算朵花離佢個竇成 9 公里噉遠,蜜蜂都會記得到[35][36]

另一樣展示到蜜蜂智能嘅嘢係,佢哋有能力向同伴傳達好複雜嘅訊息:有科學家做過實驗,發現一隻喺實驗室入面嘅蜜蜂睇完個同伴靠拉一條繩嚟攞到花蜜之後,會學識同樣噉拉嗰條繩嚟攞花蜜,而且仲曉將呢種知識傳達俾冇見過嗰條繩嘅同伴知,等嗰啲同伴能夠跟住學識拉嗰條繩嚟攞花蜜-而「能夠向同伴傳達複雜嘅訊息」係智能嘅一個重要指標[37]。上述蜜蜂做到嘅呢啲嘢,大把脊椎動物都做唔到[38]

蜂羣結構

一個蜂羣內部嘅蜜蜂會分做三個級別:蜜蜂公、工蜂、同埋蜂后[39][40]。蜜蜂公係嘅,而工蜂同蜂后係[41]

蜜蜂公

內文: 蜜蜂公

蜜蜂公(drone)即係公嘅蜜蜂。佢哋主要係為咗繁殖而生嘅,唔會參與搵食,亦都唔使點樣幫手保護個竇-所以條尾度冇針。佢哋會有大嘅,等佢哋可以喺空中進行嘅交配當中睇到個蜂后嘅位置。平均嚟講,喺冬天以外嘅時間,一個蜜蜂竇會有 500 到 1,500 隻蜜蜂公[42][43]

蜜蜂公多數都淨係得嗰一組-即係三條-染色體,佢哋通常係由啲冇受精嘅卵嗰度生出嚟嘅,而呢啲冇受精嘅卵可能係個蜂后特登唔受精或者係由冇受精嘅工蜂生嘅。有陣時,會有啲受咗精嘅卵會生蜜蜂公出嚟,但係呢樣嘢要喺定性別嘅同位基因噉啱同款嘅情況下先至會發生。一般嚟講,一隻蜜蜂公要 24 先至可以完全噉發育成熟。蜜蜂公由夏天到秋天期間都會生出嚟,而喺冬天嘅時候,啲蜜蜂竇通常會為咗慳嘢食,而將啲蜜蜂公趕出去個竇外面,等佢哋自生自滅[39]

 
蜜蜂公得一組染色體,而蜜蜂乸有兩組。由呢幅圖解睇得出,一隻蜜蜂公喺基因上有一半係同生佢出嚟嗰隻乸-無論係工蜂定蜂后-係一樣嘅。

工蜂

內文: 工蜂

工蜂(worker)係蜜蜂乸嘅一種,有兩組染色體-呢點同蜂后一樣[44]。一個蜜蜂竇每一刻可以有成 60,000 隻工蜂噉多。當蜂后選擇性噉用自己儲起咗嘅精子嚟將啲卵受精嗰陣,工蜂就會出世。工蜂多數都會喺出世 21 日之內發育成熟,並且得一個月命左右。雖然佢哋噉短命,但喺三種蜜蜂當中,工蜂嘅行為係最多樣化嘅:佢哋喺個竇入面負責做啲乜睇佢哋年紀而定,最後生啲嗰啲通常會負責餵幼蟲同收花蜜(湊仔蜂),老少少嘅會幫手打掃個竇、喺個竇外面站崗、同飛出去個竇外面搵食[39];又有啲工蜂會專門做一樣工作,好似係負責「執屍」噉-負責將死咗嘅同伴嘅屍體搬出去個竇外面[39]。工蜂喺身體結構上都有內部差異,會睇做乜嘢工作而有所變化-例如有啲會生個好似噉嘅結構出嚟去裝採到嘅花粉[45][46][47]。喺某啲情況之下-例如係個蜂后唔見咗-工蜂仲可能會生卵巢同開始產卵[48]

蜂后

 
浸喺蜂王漿入面嘅蜜蜂幼蟲;佢哋應該會發育成蜂后。
 
一隻蜜蜂公;佢有對好大嘅眼。蜜蜂公主要負責交配,有陣時會係噉咦幫吓手保護個竇。佢哋亦都係蜂后同工蜂之間嘅生育政治籌碼。
內文: 蜂后

蜂后(queen)可以話係一個蜜蜂竇嘅統治者。一隻蜂后通常都係佢所屬嗰個蜜蜂竇入面所有蜜蜂嘅阿媽,所以又有人叫蜂后做「母蜂」。蜂后係一隻非一般嘅蜜蜂乸,喺好特別嘅情況之下先會生到出嚟:工蜂喺餵幼蟲嗰陣,會分泌一種叫蜂王漿(royal jelly)嘅物質俾幼蟲食,多數嘅幼蟲,無論公乸,淨係喺幼蟲期初期有蜂王漿食,得極少數嘅蜜蜂乸有機會幼蟲期全程食蜂王漿;一隻一路淨係食住蜂王漿嘅幼蟲乸會發育成蜂后,如果唔係一路淨係食蜂王漿嘅就會發育成工蜂。如果一隻幼蟲乸真係全程食足蜂王漿嘅話,佢就會喺 16 日之內發育成蜂后[39]

一隻蜂后無論喺生理、形態、定行為上都同工蜂好唔同:佢大隻啲,條尾嗰度支針冇倒勾,同埋唔識生產蜂蠟;最緊要嘅係,一隻蜂后有一組有生殖能力嘅卵巢,同埋具有可以用嚟儲起啲精子嘅結構。一隻準蜂后會同好多隻(屬於第啲竇嘅)蜜蜂公交配,當中 Apis nigrocincta 每隻蜂后會同 42 至 69 隻公交配。交配咗之後,一隻完全成熟嘅蜂后每日有得生到成 2,000 粒卵噉多[39]。為咗等自己可以專心產卵,隻蜂后會釋放一啲特殊嘅信息素,指揮同控制佢啲女-工蜂-做嘢。一隻蜂后可以有成幾年命[49]

工后鬥爭

當一隻(好少有嘅)有生殖能力嘅工蜂生咗仔嗰陣,佢就會同佢阿媽-即係佢個蜂后-有利益衝突:隻工蜂同佢生出嚟嘅蜜蜂公喺基因上有一半係相同嘅,而佢同佢啲兄弟(佢蜂后生嗰啲蜜蜂公)喺基因上得嗰四分之一係相同嘅-即係話佢親佢啲仔多過親佢蜂后啲仔;相比之下,個蜂后喺基因上有一半有佢啲仔(佢生嗰啲蜜蜂公)相同,而同佢啲孫(佢個女生嗰啲蜜蜂公)得嗰四分之一係相同嘅-親佢啲仔多過親佢啲孫;於是乎,隻工蜂就會同隻蜂后有摩擦-如果隻工蜂同蜂后都想要令自己嘅進化適應性最大化(盡可能將自己嘅血脈承傳落去)嘅話,佢哋就要各自噉集中照顧同佢哋最親嘅個體,所以如果有一隻工蜂生咗仔嘅話,噉佢嘅行為就會變到同蜂后想佢做嘅唔一致,變相係一種作反[50]

工蜂維安

內文: 工蜂維安

工后鬥爭嘅情況對成個蜂羣嘅利益可能會有不利,令到蜜蜂之間出現咗一種叫工蜂維安(worker policing)嘅現象:喺血緣上同個蜂后啲仔最親嘅工蜂(通常係冇生殖能力嗰啲)會喺個竇入面巡邏;有研究顯示,蜂后曉釋放一種信息訊,等佢自己產嘅卵同工蜂產嘅卵有陣唔同嘅除[51][52],於是嗰啲巡邏緊嘅工蜂能夠搵出工蜂生落嚟嘅卵,並且將呢啲卵食落肚,盡力令到唔會有工蜂生嘅卵孵到出嚟-等頭先提到嗰種利益衝突唔會發生;呢啲工蜂有陣時甚至仲會主動郁手攻擊有生殖能力嘅工蜂。工蜂維安喺動物學上係強迫性利他(forced altruism)嘅一個例子-隻蜂后以及啲同佢啲仔親嘅工蜂夾埋一齊,夾硬迫啲有生殖能力嘅工蜂將蜂后嘅利益擺喺第一位[53]

交配次數嘅影響

工蜂維安同隻蜂后交配咗幾多次有關:如果一隻蜂后交配得少,佢就唔會有好多唔同款嘅精子,噉會令到佢生出嚟啲仔女(即係佢個蜂羣)喺血統上嘅多樣性比較低,呢點可能會令到個蜂羣對某啲病嘅抵抗力降低;另一方面,如果佢交配得太多,噉佢就會有好多唔同款嘅精子,噉會令到佢生出嚟啲仔女多樣性好高,但係同時又會令到佢啲仔女之間嘅基因差異比較大,更加令到佢啲女(工蜂)唔想幫手照顧佢啲仔,於是啲女作反嘅機會就變大。所以交配得多對蜂后嚟講係一把雙面刃。上述所講嘅呢個假說會預測,蜂后交配嘅次數會同工蜂維安嘅需求成正比-隻蜂后交配愈多,啲工蜂想作反嘅機會就愈高,噉隻蜂后就愈需要拉攏啲同佢啲仔親嘅工蜂做維安。呢個預測喺多份研究當中被證實咗[54]

工蜂嘅最後希望

一般嚟講,工蜂產卵產得最犀利嘅時段係蜂后唔見咗嘅期間-噉通常係因為隻蜂后死咗。喺呢個情況下,會有唔少嘅工蜂卵巢開始活躍,佢哋會產卵,但通常都因為佢哋冇交配過,生唔到蜜蜂乸出嚟,而工蜂對維持蜜蜂竇運作嚟講係不可或缺嘅,所以跟住會發生嘅嘢如下:蜂后唔見咗,好多工蜂會趁個蜜蜂竇仲未冧得嗮,起勢噉生蜜蜂公出嚟,等呢啲蜜蜂公飛出個竇外面同嘗試交配-對工蜂嚟講,「趁蜂后死咗生仔」就好似係最後一絲留存自己血脈嘅希望噉;冇幾耐之後,個蜂羣就會因為工蜂死嗮而崩潰。喺呢段絕望時期,工蜂維安通常都會暫停,但有報告指,喺某啲蜜蜂品種當中,工蜂維安會持續[55]

冇皇管工蜂

喺罕有嘅情況之下,有啲工蜂會成為所謂嘅冇皇管工蜂(anarchic worker),佢哋會變得更加叻產卵,生得比較多,而且仲可能成功噉令佢嗰啲仔混入去個蜜蜂竇嘅蜜蜂公羣入面,即係話佢能夠將自己嘅下一代-而唔係成個蜂羣嘅下一代-傳承落去。喺呢種情況之下,隻冇皇管工蜂係喺度將佢自己嘅利益擺喺成個蜂羣嘅利益前面:蜜蜂公唔會點幫手做嘢,所以蜜蜂公數量多咗會對成個蜂羣嘅利益有害,但係隻冇皇管工蜂噉樣做能夠將自己嘅血脈留傳落去,對佢自己有利[56]

生命歷程

生命週期

一隻蜜蜂個體由生到死嘅過程如下[57]

  1. 幼蟲時期三種蜜蜂(工蜂、蜂后、同蜜蜂公)嘅生命歷程差唔多。工蜂會負責起竇,用蠟整一間間六角型嘅竇室,而蜂后作為成個竇嘅阿媽,會喺啲竇室入面產卵,而每粒蜜蜂卵都有一間竇室住。蜂后喺產卵嗰陣有能力揀係咪生受精卵,一隻冇受精嘅卵多數會發育成蜜蜂公,而一隻受咗精嘅就會發育成蜜蜂乸。
  2. 經過三日之後,一粒卵會孵化,成為幼蟲。工蜂會做照顧幼蟲嘅職責。喺一開始嗰陣,幼蟲冚唪唥都有蜂王漿食,後尾就會改食蜜糖同花粉,唯一例外嘅係少數全程都係食蜂王漿大嘅幼蟲乸-呢啲幼蟲乸打後會發育成蜂后。幼蟲期通常六日長左右,而無論係邊種蜜蜂都好,因為蜜蜂係一種完全變態嘅昆蟲,所以幼蟲甩幾次皮之後,就會喺佢間房入面結,蛹會喺 7 至 14 日之內變成成蟲。
  3. 工蜂一世係噉做嘢:後生嘅工蜂有陣時俾人嗌做「湊仔蜂」(nurse bee),主要負責打掃個竇同埋餵啲幼蟲食嘢;當佢哋分泌蜂王漿嘅腺開始萎縮嗰陣,佢哋就會改為負責幫手起六角形房;工蜂隨住年紀變大會改變佢哋嘅工作,會做嘅嘢包括咗負責收花蜜同花粉,以及喺個蜜蜂竇外面站崗;遲吓佢哋就會做試吓去個竇外面飛,並且離開個竇去搵食,通常轉咗工做搵食嘅工蜂會一路做搵食,做到死為止。
  4. 蜜蜂公以及蜂后嘅生命歷程同工蜂嘅截然不同:如果一隻蜜蜂乸發育咗做蜂后,噉佢啱啱由個蛹嗰度捐出嚟嗰一刻會係一隻「處女蜂后」(virgin queen),要做嘅嘢係飛離個竇,去搵其他同種蜂羣嘅蜜蜂公交配-一隻蜂后唔會同佢個竇嘅蜜蜂公交配(因為嗰啲多數係佢兄弟)。同時,蜜蜂公曉喺某啲地方聚集,等其他竇嘅蜂后。一隻蜂后會同多隻蜜蜂公交配,跟住蜂后會飛返屋企,而啲蜜蜂公就會死。
  5. 當一隻成熟嘅蜂后交配咗,佢就有齊生蜜蜂公同蜜蜂乸嘅能力-有能力開個屬於自己嘅竇,但開新竇唔係齋靠一隻單獨嘅蜂后就做得嚟嘅:通常啲工蜂會負責做選址以及視察新竇嘅目標地點,而蜜蜂嘅語言當中仲有獨特(同第啲蜂唔同)嘅舞,專門用嚟傾搵新竇地點嘅事;選好址之後,隻交配咗嘅蜂后就會由佢屋企帶一柞工蜂-呢啲工蜂係佢啲姐妹-成大羣噉飛去個新地點;跟住啲工蜂會即刻開始郁手起新竇,而個蜂后會開始猛噉產卵,整新工蜂增加蜂手。當佢個竇有返噉上下大嘅時候,佢就會生新嘅蜂后-於是蜜蜂嘅傳承就會延續落去。一隻蜂后一般會有幾年命,喺佢死咗之後,佢個蜂羣會以好快嘅速度崩潰。

過冬

一個蜜蜂竇有能力過冬-有別於好多「夏天變成蟲、交配、產卵,跟住冬天死」嘅昆蟲。喺寒冷嘅氣候入面,蜜蜂喺溫度跌到落攝氏 10 度(華氏 50 度)以下嗰陣,就唔會再飛嚟飛去,改為喺竇嘅中心地帶聚埋一齊,形成所謂嘅冬天聚集(winter cluster)。啲工蜂會以隻蜂后做中心噉靠埋一齊,出面愈凍就聚得愈密,並且係噉震-好似打冷震噉-嚟令到個中心喺冬天初期維持喺攝氏 27 度(華氏 81 度)左右,而等到個蜂后要開始繼續產卵嗰陣,個中心嘅溫度就要去到攝氏 34 度(華氏 93 度)左右先得。個聚集嘅外圍喺成個冬天入面會維持喺攝氏 8 至 9 度(華氏 46 至 48 度)左右,係成個聚集地最凍嗰忽,於是喺冬天期間,啲工蜂會輪流噉負責企喺個聚集地嘅外圍嗰度-即係輪流捱凍,直至冬天結束為止[58]。喺呢個過程期間,蜜蜂會靠食季嗰時儲起咗嘅蜜糖嚟維持體溫,而一個蜜蜂竇要過一個冬天平均需要 15 至 50 公斤(33 至 110 磅)嘅蜜糖-呢個數字睇場冬天嘅長度同嚴酷程度而定[59]

生物分類

簡史

蜜蜂喺好耐之前已經喺地球上存在:根據化石研究,地球史上第一個蜜蜂品種出現喺始新世漸新世嘅交界時代(Eocene-Oligocene boundary),即係大約 3,400 萬之前;至於蜜蜂起源喺地球邊一忽,科學界就仲喺度詏緊:頭先提到嗰啲化石喺歐洲搵到嘅,噉表示喺嗰個超遠古嘅時代歐洲經已有蜜蜂,但又有科學家主張,蜜蜂係起源自南亞東南亞嗰頭嘅,只不過係目前科學界對嗰頭啲昆蟲化石嘅研究仲未係好充分[60][61]

到咗廿一世紀,世界絕大部份地方都可以搵到蜜蜂,尤其係西方蜜蜂Apis mellifera)零舍常見,查實有段故:目前現存嘅蜜蜂品種當中,冚唪唥都曉起啲大過佢哋自己身體好多嘅蜜蜂竇,而比較近期進化出嚟嘅品種仲興喺啲密閉啲嘅空間-例如係-入面起竇,呢點佢哋容易馴養;喺有文字紀錄嘅歷史上,多數嘅蜜蜂品種都試過俾住喺佢哋左近嘅人類用嚟整蜜糖同蜂蠟,當中西方蜜蜂Apis cerana indica 完全噉俾人類馴養嗮,前者仲要係喺古埃及人仲起緊金字塔嗰陣已經有人養緊[62]。佢哋住得近歐洲,令到歐洲人自古就有養佢哋嚟饟蜜,打後喺大航海時代嗰時,佢哋有得跟住歐洲人四圍去,去到打前近乎係冇蜜蜂存在過嘅美洲嗰度,家吓就做咗全世界分佈最廣嘅蜜蜂品種[63][64]

 
蜜蜂嘅分佈圖;唔同色水代表各個品種嘅蜜蜂,紅色嘅係西方蜜蜂嘅分佈。
     Apis andreniformis      Apis cerana      Apis dorsata      Apis florea      Apis koschevnikovi      Apis nigrocincta      Apis mellifera

重要品種

品種 學名 圖片 描述
微蜜蜂 microapis   微蜜蜂包括咗矮蜜蜂(dwart honey bee;Apis florea)同黑矮蜜蜂(black dwarf honey bee;Apis andreniformis)兩個品種,分佈喺南亞同東南亞地區。佢哋比較細隻,啲針唔足以拮穿人類皮膚,加上佢哋興喺樹同灌木當中起暴露嘅竇,所以要採集佢哋嘅蜜糖相對容易(採蜜糖嘅人員唔著保護衣都得)。同黑矮蜜蜂比起上嚟,矮蜜蜂嘅翼細啲,而且身體大半呈黃色;另一方面,同黑矮蜜蜂比起嚟,矮蜜蜂分佈廣而且攻擊性低,所以採集蜜糖嘅人鍾意去採矮蜜蜂嘅竇多過鍾意去採黑矮蜜蜂嘅[65]

遺傳研究顯示,微蜜蜂係現存蜜蜂品種當中最古老嘅,喺大約 4,000 萬年前嘅巴爾頓期(Bartonian period)經已喺進化上同第啲品種分開咗,但呢兩個品種喺新近紀(Neogene)前冇幾耐(以地質時代嘅尺度睇)先至喺進化上同對方分開[66][67]

巨蜜蜂 megapis   巨蜜蜂主要包含一個現存品種,巨型蜜蜂(giant honey bee;Apis dorsata)。巨型蜜蜂分佈於南亞同東南亞各地,會喺樹、山崖、或者人類建築物等嘅地方起一啲暴露嘅竇,佢哋有攻擊性,而且以蜜蜂嚟講相當大隻(身長閒閒地 17 - 20 毫米),喺個竇受侵襲嗰陣會成羣噉攻擊,而一個竇嘅巨型蜜蜂能夠輕易噉殺死人類[68]

唔同地區嘅巨型蜜蜂有少少唔同。當中喜瑪拉雅巨型蜜蜂(Himalayan giant honey bee;Apis dorsata laboriosa)係住喺喜瑪拉雅嗰頭嘅大型蜜蜂品種,特徵係喺禦寒能力上明顯勁過第啲蜜蜂品種,能夠喺高海拔嘅地區起竇同生存。一隻成年嘅喜瑪拉雅巨型蜜蜂身體閒閒地可以有成 3 厘米(1.2 吋)長-係世上現存最大隻嘅蜜蜂品種[2]

東方蜜蜂
eastern honey bee
Apis cerana   東方蜜蜂係一個源於南亞、東南亞、同東亞地區嘅蜜蜂品種,遺傳上同西方蜜蜂好接近[2]。東方蜜蜂會食花粉、花蜜、同蜜糖,外形特點係啲成蟲嘅身體黑色有黃間條,而行為上興喺一啲狹窄嘅窿窿罅罅地方起啲得一個細入口嘅竇(所以可以擺喺盒入面養),用意似乎在於防衛第啲竇嘅蜜蜂侵襲[69]。東亞地區(包括在內)傳統養起蜜蜂上嚟都係興養東方蜜蜂嘅,不過由廿世紀開始,東方蜜蜂就有因為人類活動而傳咗去第啲地區,好似係澳洲[70]
西方蜜蜂
western honey bee
Apis mellifera   西方蜜蜂係廿一世紀世界上分佈得最廣泛嘅蜜蜂品種,而且係昆蟲學史上第三種基因組完全研究完成嘅昆蟲。西方蜜蜂源於非洲東部,跟住由嗰度向北延伸咗去歐洲,而且仲向東延伸到去天山嗰頭。西方蜜蜂有多個次品種,每個次品種都因為要適應自己居住嘅環境而有咗少少變異,所以彼此之間喺行為、色水、同身體構造上可以有些微嘅差異[2][71][72]

西方蜜蜂本嚟係得歐亞大陸先會見到嘅,但到咗今日喺美洲都搵得到佢哋嘅蹤跡:美洲土著本嚟都有養一啲蜜蜂,而喺 1622 年,歐洲人將佢哋養開嘅蜜蜂引入咗過去美洲,仲要帶住佢哋嘅蜜蜂行勻大半個美洲大陸(西及加州),佢哋嘅蜜蜂當中有一部份嘅走甩咗,同美洲嗰啲本土蜜蜂雜交,最後形成今日嘅美洲西方蜜蜂[73][74]

非洲化蜜蜂
Africanized bee
Apis mellifera   非洲化蜜蜂,又有叫「殺人蜂」,係一種非洲化咗嘅西方蜜蜂,源自歐洲蜜蜂同東非蜜蜂嘅雜交而成嘅。非洲化蜜蜂攻擊性高過歐洲蜜蜂,而且整蜜糖嘅能力冇噉勁,但同時同歐洲蜜蜂比起嚟又對疾病比較有抵抗力兼覓食能力強。非洲化蜜蜂源於喺巴西做嘅蜜蜂雜交實驗,喺巴西嘅養蜂人之間相當受歡迎。非洲化蜜蜂喺南美有擴散,而且仲有散佈到北美,但因為佢哋禦寒過冬嘅能力渣,所以散佈唔到去北得滯嘅地方[2][75]

品種一覽

Tribe Apini Latreille[63]
Genus Apis Linnaeus (s. lato)

  • henshawi species group († Priorapis Engel, † Synapis Cockerell)
      • A. vetusta Engel
      • A. henshawi Cockerell
      • A. petrefacta (Říha)
      • A. miocenica Hong
      • A. "longtibia" Zhang
      • A. "Miocene 1"
  • armbrusteri species group († Cascapis Engel)
      • A. armbrusteri Zeuner
      • A. nearctica, sp. Nov.
  • florea species group (Micrapis Ashmead)
      • A. florea Fabricius
      • A. andreniformis Smith
  • dorsata species group (Megapis Ashmead)
      • A. lithohermaea Engel
      • A. dorsata Fabricius
  • mellifera species group (Apis Linnaeus s. stricto)
    • mellifera subgroup
      • A. mellifera Linnaeus (Apis Linnaeus s. strictissimo)
    • cerana subgroup (Sigmatapis Maa)
      • A. cerana Fabricius
      • A. nigrocincta Smith
      • A. koschevnikovi Enderlein

文化影響

 
印尼嘅一班養蜂人用特製嘅盒裝住佢哋養緊嘅蜜蜂竇。

養蜂

內文: 養蜂

養蜂(beekeeping)-通常係養蜜蜂-係一種古老嘅行業,喺古埃及時期經已有人做緊。廿一世紀養蜂人養嘅多數係東方蜜蜂或者西方蜜蜂(因為呢兩種蜜蜂比較),而養邊種視地區而定,例如日本嘅養蜂人就比較興養日式嘅東方蜜蜂(Apis cerana japonica)。專業嘅養蜂人對社會有各種貢獻:佢哋對農業嚟講相當緊要,養蜂人會用特製嘅盒將佢哋養嘅蜜蜂運去唔同嘅農地嗰度,跟手放啲蜜蜂出嚟,去幫啲農作物傳花粉,等農作物繁殖得更加茂盛-對農夫嚟講,噉做幫到佢哋手增加農作物嘅產量,所以農夫會俾錢請養蜂人做呢樣工作;另一方面,養蜂人又會生產各種嘅蜜蜂產品-蜜糖、蜂蠟、花粉、同蜂王漿等等都係相當受歡迎嘅產品,好似係蜜糖就可以攞嚟整好多美食[76]

蜜蜂同養蜂人之間有一種互惠互利嘅關係[76]:蜜蜂整蜜糖嘅能力好勁,整出嚟嘅蜜糖多到佢哋自己食唔嗮,所以養蜂人攞啲蜜蜂食唔嗮嘅蜜糖去賣賺錢,而養蜂人就會負責幫手保護啲蜜蜂,等啲蜜蜂唔使憂俾雀鳥或者寄生蟲侵害[77]

蜜蜂產品

 
德州一個街市一角;個貨架上面擺咗唔同牌子嘅蜜糖。

蜜糖

內文: 蜜糖

喺噉多種蜜蜂產品入面,最出位嘅要數蜜糖。蜜蜂會將採到嘅花蜜食落肚先,吞落去佢個蜜糖胃(honey stomach)嗰度,用嗰個胃消化吓佢[78],將佢嘔返出嚟,再儲起喺個竇嘅六角形室入面,最後形成蜜糖[79]。歷史上,所有品種嘅蜜蜂都試過佢哋啲蜜糖俾人類攞嚟用,當中西方蜜蜂同東方蜜蜂呢兩個品種生產蜜糖嘅能力高到足以俾人攞嚟做商業用途。蜜糖營養高,又帶有令人鍾意嘅味,喺各地嘅傳統菜式當中都有俾人用嚟製作各種嘅美食。每年世界各國生產嘅蜜糖總量數以百萬計-係一盤相當大嘅生意[80]

其他產品

  • 蜂蠟(beeswax)係某啲年紀嘅工蜂識分泌嘅一種物質,呢啲工蜂個腹部有一啲特殊嘅,能夠分泌出蜂蠟,而蜜蜂會用蜂蠟嚟起個竇嘅牆。蜂蠟具有防水等有用嘅特性,所以對人類嚟講,蜂蠟可以攞嚟整蠟燭傢俬嘅某啲部份、以及某啲化妝品[81][82];另一方面,蜂蠟係食得(但冇乜味)嘅,而中藥當中有用到蜂蠟-蜂蠟性平,喺中醫上被認為有養脾胃、潤肺腑、同止屙等嘅功效[83]
  • 蜂花粉(bee pollen)係蜜蜂處理完花粉嘅產品:蜜蜂會帶花粉返個竇嗰度,並且將呢啲花粉同蜜糖以及佢哋自己某啲分泌物溝埋一齊,饟成蜂糧(bee bread)。饟蜂糧嘅過程令到花粉釋放內藏嘅一啲營養,可以產生抗生素同埋抑制腐爛嘅脂肪酸(fatty acid);工蜂會攞蜂糧嚟餵自己同幼蟲,湊仔蜂食蜂糧會幫到佢哋生產蜂王漿,而蜂王漿對蜂后同發育緊嘅幼蟲嚟講不可或缺;而且蜂花粉仲係蜜蜂唯一嘅蛋白質來源。人類會收集蜂花粉,而喺醫療上,蜂花粉有陣時會俾人用嚟做健康食品[84][85]
  • 蜂膠(propolis)係蜜蜂採集植物嘅汁液、花粉、同花蜜,溝埋自己分泌嘅口水同蜜臘,所形成嘅膠狀物質,可以用嚟修補個竇,而且蜂膠係食得嘅,所以蜜蜂喺天氣唔好,唔能夠出去採花蜜嗰陣,會用蜂膠做後備糧食[86][87]。蜂膠對人類嚟講都係食得嘅,而且可以用嚟整止咳糖漿,可以止咳同減緩喉嚨發炎[88],不過某啲人會對蜂膠有過敏反應[89]
  • 蜂王漿(royal jelly)係蜜蜂用嚟餵幼蟲嘅物質,時不時會俾人類攞嚟食[90][91],不過有啲人對蜂王漿會有嚴重嘅過敏反應[92]
  • 蜜蜂嘅卵、幼蟲、同蛹相當有營養,喺世界多地都有俾人攞嚟做美食,例如係印尼、泰國、墨西哥、同多個非洲國家都有用蜜蜂卵、幼蟲、同蛹整嘢食嘅傳統[93]。遠古時代嘅古漢人同古埃及人都有食蜜蜂卵、幼蟲、同蛹[94][95]

其他影響

  • 美國中西部嘅州猶他州(Utah)有個花名叫「蜜蜂竇州」(Beehive State)。改呢個花名係因為佢嗰塊旗上面有蜜蜂竇嘅圖樣,據講係用嚟象徵勤奮嘅[96]
  • 法國拿破崙曾經攞過蜜蜂嚟做政府嘅象徵[97]
  • 學者喺傾政治理論嗰陣,成日攞蜜蜂嘅社會結構嚟比喻人類社會,例如古希臘阿里士多德(Aristotle)同柏拉圖(Plato)都噉樣做過[98]
  • 用一大羣蜜蜂等嘅蜂嚟代表威脅係創作當中常用嘅一種橋段[99]
  • 古漢人想食甜嗰時,一般會喺嘢食度落麥芽糖或者蜜糖嚟調味。後嚟印度發明嘅蔗糖大唐時期(公元 618 至 907 年)傳入先至令呢種做法受取代[100]
  • 粵文化當中,粵人燒嘢食嗰陣興搽蜜糖落啲燒好咗嘅嘢食嗰度。
  • 香港風格冰皮月餅成日會加咗蜜煻水喺入面[101]

圖庫

幫花傳緊粉

睇埋

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  100. 中国最早的糖主要是蜜糖和麦芽糖.
  101. 冰皮月餅食譜 by 安木白