For hundreds of years the people, animals, and plants have depended upon this bustling little insect for their survival. The Malise, also known by its less formal name, Honeybee, has become an indispensable creature in nature. Plants depend upon this insect to deliver its pollen back and forth, while humanoids have made the honey they produce part of their everyday lives.
Picture description. A couple of bee hives, beautifully made out of tree trunks by a beekeeper. Some diligent Santharian malises fly around doing their everyday business. Image by Bard Judith and Seeker.
The Malise, like all insects, has a body that is divided into three parts: the
head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Malise range in color from black to shades of
light brown on their abdomen while their head and thorax remains a dirty yellow
or dirty golden color. The Malise has hairs all over their body that help them
A Malise has five eyes: three small ones shaped in a triangle at the top of its head, as well as two compound eyes on either side of its head. These compound eyes are really just a bunch of single eyes crowded close together. Researchers, through tests and experiments, have discovered that these Malise can distinguish blue and yellow, though they have not yet discovered how far they can see, only that it apparently uses landmarks to find its way back to its hive. However, because Malise have no pupil, they cannot focus their eyes.
A Malise has slender, jointed feeler attached to the front of their head called antennae. These antennae are sense organs and help to bee to smell. Tiny hairs found on these feelers are believed to be used for touch. Right below the antennae, the Malise has a mouth with a flexible tongue that helps it suck water, honey, and nectar into its body. The tongue remains outside the head, though it can be lengthened and shortened as the case may be. On the sides of the tongue are two jaws that are used as tools to grasp pollen and wax. Glands in the head of the Gatherbee release some sort of fluid into the nectar to turn it into honey, while the Servantbee has glands to produce royal jelly, a substance eaten by the Melarvae while they are pupating. The process of sucking nectar up through its tongue, through its mouth, and into its honey stomach (a stomach reserved solely for producing and carrying honey) can be reversed as so the honey can be placed in the cells of the bee’s hive.
A Malise has two pairs of wings: a forewing and a hind wing. These wings are extremely thin and yet strong enough to give the insect flight. When a bee flies, the hind wing and forewing hook together for strength. A bee may fly forwards, backwards, sideways, or it may hover in place. These wings are connected to the thorax, from where its legs, likewise, extend. Each bee as three pairs of legs each with five main joints, including a segment making up the foot. These legs, equipped with many pollen-gathering hairs, are used to collect wax and to brush pollen off its body. The forelegs have a small notch to clean antennae while the legs of the worker bee has a smooth area surrounded by stiff hairs known as pollen baskets. These hairs collect pollen that can be used to build the honeycomb.
The stinger, often times the most feared thing about the bee, is used only when the Malise is frightened or hurt. Glands attached the stinger eject a venom when the stinger is removed from the Malise’s body. The stinger is barbed, so when the stinger goes into to something, the barbs hold it there, pulling the stinger out of the bee. The Malise dies a few hours after losing its stinger. The Queen bees have a smooth, elegantly curved stinger, used only for killing other queens. A Queen will not lose her sting, even if she uses it on another queen. Drones have no stinger.
Malise stings often cause pain and welling and there have been a few who have died from bee stings, though some Santharian doctors believe that the fluid in these stingers may be used for healing wounds.
Malise have the ability to both make honey and wax using the pollen and nectar
of flowers. The nectar of a flower may be sucked out and stored in a
Gatherbee’s honey stomach where it mixes with chemicals produced in the head
of the bee to make honey. This honey is then removed from the Malise's body
through its tongue and stored in the cells in the bee’s hive. Wax is produced
on the Malise's abdomen by special glands. Tiny white flakes form on the abdomen
that can then be brushed off by the Buildbee, chewed in its jaws then used as
part of honeycomb building. This wax, appropriately called Maliswax, is only
produced when the wax is needed.
Territory. Bees are found all over the world from the Narfost Plain to the Steppe of Kruswik to the Silver Marshes. They can be seen in the Heath of Wilderon, the Adern Grasslands, and the Plains of Rilla. They live in the Doranian Kingdom, on the Isle of Quios, and the Island of Denilou. Anyplace where plants with flowers grow, the bee is found.
Habitat/Behaviour. Malise are social insects, meaning they live and work together in large communities made up of thousands and thousands of other bees. A single Malise may live only a few weeks or months, but a colony of them can go on living for years. The nest they build, called hives, are where bees are born and where honey is stored. A nest is shaped into a honeycomb with the help of the wax produced on a bee’s abdomen. Honeycombs are made up of six-sided compartments called cells.
There are five types of Malise. Each type has its own specific job within the community: Servantbee, Gatherbee, Buildbee, Consortbee, and Queen.
The Gatherbees and Buildbees are the most common types. Gatherbees are responsible for going out from the hive and collecting nectar, bringing it back to transform into honey, while Buildbees, as the name suggests, use the plant extracts and oils that they consume to produce wax and form it into beautiful hexagons within the hive. The finished wax construction is then used to store honey and Melarvae, and is called a comb. Servantbees tend the Melarvae, bringing them food while they pupate and taking care of the queen. They are wingless, as they never leave the hive, and depend on the other workers for their food.
The Malise Queen has one job: she determines within her body what type of Malise the hive needs more of, and then lays the various eggs in the proportions as needed. She does not gather food or help build the nest, and she depends on the workers to fed her and care for her. Though she does not seem to rule the colony, other Malise get very upset and disorganized when she’s not present.
The Malise queen can only produce eggs if a Consortbee fertilizes her. Consortbees are large, awkward insects that do no work and have no stinger. They crawl round the comb eating and resting and randomly mating with the queen. The queen often lays more eggs which will become Consortlarvae at a time when she is becoming old and feels the need for a new Malise Queen, or when the hive is crowded and needs to split into another hive (also requiring a new queen).
Diet. Malise eat only the honey they produce. Often they will produce honey in great quantities during summer to give them food on which to feed off of during the winter.
Mating. The Queen bee can only lay worker bee eggs if a Consortbee first fertilizes her. If not, she will only produce Consortbees. She produces the most eggs in the spring season, during which time she may lay as many as 2,000 eggs a day. In one season she may lay more that 200,000 eggs. In her lifetime, which is usually about five years, she may have laid up to 1,000,000 eggs!
A Queen lays a Malise egg, colored a pearly white, into the cells of the honeycomb. These eggs are extremely small, no bigger than a grain across. Within three days, a wormlike larva called a Melarvae crawls out of the egg and is attended on by a worker bee. These Melarvae are fed royal jelly, a substance rich in vitamins and nutrients that forms in the heads of Servantbees. When the Melarvae is three days old, however, the Servantbee feeds it Melbread, a mixture of honey and pollen. The Melarvae grows large and five days after it hatches, the Servantbee seals up the cell with a wax cap. The Melarvae changes into a pupa, which then changes into an adult. The adult will bite through this wax cap to join the colony. Gatherbees and Buildbees take 21 days to reach maturity after behind hatched while drones take about 24 days to develop fully. Servantbees take, on average, about 22 days to hatch and Queens will take 16 days to hatch, though the process is slightly different for Queens.
If the old Queen becomes feeble or disappears, a few of the eggs that have been laid are chosen to become queens and Buildbees create special cells for them. Unlike the other Malise, the Queens are fed only royal jelly. About five and a half days after hatching, the Queen becomes a pupa and after 16 days, the Queen crawls out of her cell. She will feast on honey until she gets her strength. If two Queens hatch at the same time, one will fly away or the two will fight to see who will become the queen of the colony. The first to sting the other wins, and she who is stung will die.
Sometimes if a colony is overcrowded a new Queen will be born to lead a number of the bees elsewhere to start a new one.
Usages. Malise produce honey: a sticky, golden-colored substance with a sweet taste. Honey is often used as a sweetener for food. Many people like to put it on bread while chefs will use it to add more flavor to their favorite recipes. The wax from the honeycomb is very much in demand for its slow-melting qualities and its fragrant smell. There are various Malise farms across the Sarvonian continent that raise Malise just for those two products.