Go to the bee, thou poet: consider her ways and be wise.
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, 1903
Honey bees are all around us here in Peachtree Park. Some of the Honey Bees visiting the flowers in your yard likely came from the bee hive on the Nature Trail which is maintained by our own bee keepers, Anne and Randall. We are lucky to have them.
A honey bee colony generally contains: 
- one queen bee, a fertile female
- seasonally up to a few thousand drone bees, or fertile males
- tens of thousands of sterile female worker bees.
Honey bees are fascinating. Unlike our native bees which are mostly solitary, honey bees are very social and nest in colonies. We are still learning much about their behavior. Thomas D. Seeley, a professor of biology at Cornell, has written a book titled Honeybee Democracy. In it he describes how honey bees make decisions collectively and democratically. Every year honey bees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact finding, vigorous debate and consensus building. This applies to locating food sources as well as finding and moving to a new home. 
Honey bees are the poster children for pollination, but our own Native Bees are two to three times better pollinators and more plentiful than originally thought.  Native bees are better pollinators because honey bees are interested in the nectar as opposed to the pollen.  However, honey bees will still collect 66 pounds of pollen per year, per hive. 
Honey bees are considered valuable because, unlike our native bees, they can be moved from farm to farm. Sadly the stresses induced by all of this movement is considered to be a big factor in colony collapse disorder. 
The short video below shows the honey bees at work. If you look closely you’ll see a few bees and insects that do not look like honeybees. Randall says “…it’s common for other flying insects and even bees from other hives to try to steal honey. That’s why they have sentry bees.”