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Oracle Internals: An Introduction by Steve Adams

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Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animal on the cover of Oracle 8i Internal Services is a bumblebee. Only three types of bees are social insects: bumblebees, honeybees, and tropical stingless bees. There are approximately 200 species of bumblebee, most of which reside in temperate zones, where their thick layer of hair protects them from cool temperatures. In early spring the queen bee emerges from underground hibernation and searches for a nesting site, often in a deserted rodent nest. She then makes a honey pot of secreted wax, and a cell into which she places pollen and lays the first of her eggs. When these eggs hatch, the larvae grow into small worker bees. Later broods of eggs grow into bigger bees, as the queen now has help gathering food for the larvae. Toward the end of the breeding season, males and young queens are produced. By late autumn, the entire colony has died, with the exception of the young queens, who scatter to find places to hibernate until the following spring, when they will begin their own colonies.

The disproportionate appearance of bumblebees is deceptive. Despite their large, apparently clumsy bodies and delicate wings, they move swiftly and efficiently, pollinating flowers as they go. Bumblebees play an important role in pollinating ...

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