"The bee is ours."
Translation:L'ape è la nostra.
Italian is NOT complicated; it is rated as one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. The only "complication" here is that the definite article is elided before a vowel - as 'l'ape' here - so you have to learn the gender as it is not apparent. Ditto in French, but not in Spanish, which doesn't elide though it will substitute masc 'el' for fem 'la' before those feminine nouns beginning with a stressed 'a' or 'ha'.
The l' in front of uomo is an contraction for lo. Man: uomo, would get the word the: lo, but because it starts with a vowel, the lo is contracted into l'. Otherwise it would be lo uomo, and the double vowel sound is not smooth, because it causes the u in uomo to have an explosive start. L'uomo is more melodic. Italian is a direct evolution of Roman Latin, its rules are ancient as well.
I don't understand why it should be "L'ape è la nostra" instead of "L'ape è nostra". If I have understood this correctly for example the sentence "Il cibo è nostro" would be correct and not "Il cibo è il nostro". Why should there be an extra "la" in the sentence with the bee?
It just accepted "L'ape è nostra."
As I understand it, when the possessive pronoun is used (in this case, ours standing for bee), you can include the article (la) or not. So both "L'ape è la nostra" and "L'ape è nostra" are correct.
Both of your example sentences with "cibo" should also be correct. If one was marked wrong, perhaps it was for a different reason, or perhaps in wasn't in the database yet.
"Nostro" wouldn't be correct because it is a possessive adjective and they agree in gender and number with the noun possessed (in this case with "l'ape" which is feminine singular noun).
Check this link : http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare132a.htm
In another exercise, the phrase "the (something) is his" was translated as "...e' sua" so I was expecting the answer to this phrase to be " ... e' nostra" (pronoun) rather than "... la nostra". "It is our bee" would be "E' la nostra ape" (adjective). Can anyone clarify, please?
The last sentence might have had la in the subject. "La ..... è sua. In this case, "L'ape è la nostra." clarifies that l' stands for la. The first sentence only works, because the verb "is" from "to be" takes a predicate nominate afterwards instead of a direct object. The predicate nominative refers back to the subject. For instance "He is a man". He=man and in "The bee is ours" what is ours is the bee. If you said "We eat his." , I think you would have to put the determiner. "Mangiamos la sua"
In Italian, the possessive agrees with the subject that is owned, not the owner or owners. It seems you think it is "clearly plural" because it is "our" bee. But "l'ape" is singular and feminine, hence "la nostra." My favorite way to help people think of this (and, granted, it is a strange concept for native-English speakers) is "my mother" and "my father." It doesn't matter if I am a man or a woman, they are "mia madre" and "mio padre." I hope that helps lessen the confusion.