UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County
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UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: larva

Now That's Massive Weight Gain!

Close-up of larvae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
So you're thinking you're putting on a little weight during the holidays.

Not to worry. Put it all in perspective by thinking about the larvae of the honey bee.

Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, likes to talk about the massive weight gain that occurs during the larval stage of the honey bee. He speaks at scores of beekeeping functions throughout the year and what he says about the larval weight gain always draws a "Wow!" or "Incredible!" or "Amazing!"

"A honey bee egg weighs about 0.1 mg," Mussen says. "The first stage larva weighs the same.  Over the next six days of larval life the larva goes from 0.1 mg to around 120 mg.  It defecates once, just before pupating, and the resulting adult bee weighs around 110 mg.  Thus, the new bee weighs about 1,000 times the weight of the one-day-old larva."

Now get this:

"If a human baby, weighing eight pounds at birth, were to grow at the same rate, the baby would weigh 8,000 pounds, or 4 tons, at the end of six days."

Four tons in six days? Fortunately, what goes on with Apis mellifera does not apply to Homo sapiens.

Now go get that second helping of pumpkin pie.

As for Mussen, he quips: "I only feel that heavy some days!"

The tiny egg of a future honey bee weighs about 0.1 mg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The tiny egg of a future honey bee weighs about 0.1 mg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The tiny egg of a future honey bee weighs about 0.1 mg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Larvae gain weight rapidly. A larva goes from 0.1 mg to around 120 mg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Larvae gain weight rapidly. A larva goes from 0.1 mg to around 120 mg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Larvae gain weight rapidly. A larva goes from 0.1 mg to around 120 mg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a pupa with a Varroa mite. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a pupa with a Varroa mite. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a pupa with a Varroa mite. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Newly emerged honey bee, just a minute old. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Newly emerged honey bee, just a minute old. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Newly emerged honey bee, just a minute old. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 5:42 PM
Tags: adult (1), egg (1), honey bee (1), larva (2), pupa (2), weight (1)

'The Ladybug Shrub'

Our Artemisia, a silvery-leafed shrub bordering our bee friendly garden, looks quite orange and black these days.

It's not for lack of water or some exotic disease. It's the ladybug (aka lady beetle) population.

If you look closely, you'll see eggs, larvae and pupae and the adults.  And if you look even more closely, you'll see aphids.

The predator and the prey.

Bon appetit!

Ladybug
Ladybug

ADULT LADYBUG forages for aphids on a silvery-leafed shrub, Artemisia. A ladybug larva is at the far right. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Larval Stage
Larval Stage

LARVAL STAGE of the ladybug. The ladybug goes through a complete metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa and adult. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pupa
Pupa

PUPA of a ladybug on the silvery-leafed shrub, Artemisia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ladybug and a Pupa
Ladybug and a Pupa

ENCOUNTER--An adult ladybug encounters a pupa, the last stage before becoming an adult. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 5:30 PM
Tags: Artemisia (1), ladybug (1), larva (2), pupa (2)
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