10 Interesting Facts about Honey Bees

10 Interesting Facts about Honey Bees

Honey bees are fascinating creatures. Here are some interesting facts about honey bees! Not only do they make delicious honey, but they also are responsible for pollinating crops. They pollinate crops, which in turn replenish nutrients in the soil and draw beneficial predators who deter vineyard pests. For centuries, beekeepers have raised honey bees, harvesting the sweet honey they produce and relying on them to pollinate crops. In fact, honey bees pollinate an estimated one-third of all the food crops we consume. But besides this natural phenomena, there is a lot which is left to discover about honey bees and in this video, we are going to discuss some amazing facts about these creatures.

Honey Bees Are Fabulous Flyers

You won’t believe that they fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second! Now you know where that irritating noise comes from.

Honey Bees Live In Hives Or Colonies

The members of the hive are divided into three types:

     Queen: One queen runs the whole hive. Her job is to lay the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. The queen also produces chemicals that guide the behaviour of the other bees.

     Workers: these are all female and their roles are to search for food, build and protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beating their wings. Workers are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside the hive.

     Drones: These are the male bees, and their purpose is to mate with the new queen. Several hundred live in each hive during the spring and summer.

The Average Worker Bee Lives For Just Five To Six Weeks

During this time, she produces only around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey. On the other hand, the queen can live up to five years. Also, she is busiest in summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day.

The Queen Bee Can Live Three To Five Years

But her biological clock ticks a lot faster than you think. Just a week after emerging from her queen cell, the new queen flies across the hive to mate. If she doesn’t do so within 20 days, she loses her ability and it gets too late. If she’s successful, however, the queen never needs to mate again. She retains the sperm in her spermatheca, which is a small internal cavity, and uses it to fertilize eggs throughout her lifetime.

Drones Die Immediately After Mating

Male honey bees, which are also known as drones, serve only one purpose- to provide sperm for the queen. About a week after emerging from their cells, drones are ready to mate and after they’ve mated with the queen, they die.

Honey Bee Hives Maintain A Constant Temperature Always

Temperature in a hive stays fixed at around 93 degrees Fahrenheit, or you can say, 34 degrees Celsius. Isn’t this amazing?

Bee Hives Are Truly A Woman’s World

Male bees come from unfertilized eggs and comprise only about 15 percent of the population of a colony. The presence of drones, however, is the sign of a healthy hive, since it indicates that the colony has plenty of food. Not just that, male bees are ejected at the end of a season because they’re a burden on resources. That’s because the only thing drones do is eat and mate. Unlike the female bees, they don’t have any other job—and ironically, they don’t even have a stinger.

Bees That Maintain The Hive Work Diligently To Keep It Clean

The only bee that defecates inside the hive is the queen, and there are designated bees that clean up the place. In general, honey bees are so hygiene loving that they’ll do whatever it takes to die outside of the hive if at all possible so that their corpses don’t contaminate food or pose a threat to the young ones.

Honeybees Have a Dance

Did you know that honeybees have a dance move called the ‘waggle dance’? It’s not actually a dance move at all, rather a clever way of communicating between themselves to tell their nestmates where to go to find the best source of food. It took the researchers at Sussex University two years to decode the waggle dance.

Bonus Fact!

If the queen bee dies in a honeybee hive, the workers can create a new queen bee themselves. They do this by selecting a young larva, which means the active immature form of an insect. After selecting the larva, they feed it a special food known as ‘royal jelly’ which develops it into a fertile queen.

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