Read the text below and answer Questions 1-6.
Society of Bees
Not all bees are busy. Drones, the males of the hive, make up only five percent of the population. Their sole task is eventually to mate with the queen, and they are so lazy that they have to be fed by solicitous sisters who function as nurse bees.
The queen, the largest female, alone can lay eggs, and thus replenish the population. She is fed “royal jelly,” a substance produced by a special “feeding” gland in the nurse bee’s head.
The queen is almost a prisoner in the hive. Adult at little more than two weeks of age, she will probably make two to four nuptial flights. Several kilometers from the hive, she flies at a height of six to 30 meters, her chemical-attractant scent drawing the colony’s lusty drones in hot pursuit. Mating with several drones that die of shock in the process, the queen is impregnated by as many as five million sperm. Although she may live for five years and continue to produce workers during that time, she will never mate again. Potential competitive queens, in the form of royal larvae, are killed by the reigning queen herself.
The queen lay their eggs in the brood area of the hive. These eggs become tiny, white, grub-like larvae in two or three days. The nurses feed the newborn larvae royal jelly for two days; then they switch to “bee bread,” a honey and pollen mixture. Twelve days later, the winged worker emerges, the entire metamorphosis from egg to bee taking just 21 days.
A queen bee lays fertilized and unfertilized eggs- and both hatch. The fertilized eggs are all females, containing genes from both the queen, and the drones who mated with her. Unfertilized eggs produce males, which inherit their genes only from the queen bee.
The bees that emerge from the pupa stage as winged females perform such menial functions as cleaning cells, ventilating the hive and collecting debris. At three weeks, they are ready for full participation in their central mission-making honey.
For more than 4,500 years humans have been utilizing bees for their honey and wax. Beewax was man’s only wax for centuries, giving us our first candles. Egyptians utilized it for embalming. Currently beeswax is used not just in candles but also in furniture wax, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and dental impressions.
As useful as these products are, however, bees make an even more important contribution to our economy. In the process of gathering nectar, they brush against reproductive organs of blossoms, effecting pollination. Plants and trees depend upon, or benefit from, such pollination by insects, mostly bees.
Thus, the industrious sisters of the hive are working for us all.
Question: Choose the most appropriate option from the ones given below.
- Why is the queen bee almost a prisoner in her hive?
- because she is too busy laying eggs to leave the hive
- because she ventures out of the hive only two to four times in her lifetime
- because the nurse bees prevent her from leaving the hive
- because it is her job to remain in the hive and protect it
- How does the queen bee ensure that her reign is not threatened?
- she ensures the drones are driven out of the hive after mating
- she produces only worker bees
- she kills the royal larvae that could pose a challenge
- she does not mate for the rest of her lifetime
- The main task of worker bees is to
- feed the newborn larvae
- drive out the drones from the hive
- look after the hive
- make honey
- Which use of the beewax was popular in ancient times?
- making medicines
- making furniture and cosmetics
- making honey
- embalming dead bodies
5. The word ‘menial’ (Paragraph 6) means the same as
- dignified and respectable
- tiring and painful
- unimportant and unskilled
- dangerous and difficult
6. The author calls bees ‘our industrious sisters’ most probably because
- bees live in a very organized and close-knit community
- worker bees feed their drone counterparts
- bee products have many industrial uses
- bees are very hardworking and useful friends of human beings