Honey bees are some of our most crucial allies in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Without them, we would be at risk of losing not only scores of plant life, but the world would become a much greyer place. The honey bee is under threat, and it’s high time more people took the time to learn about why they are so important to the world around us.
Here are 15 interesting facts about the honey bee that may change the way you look at the little buzzers.
Bees fly for miles and miles to scout for pollen. In fact, you’ll likely find that a single bee will need to fly the equivalent of three trips around the world to make even a pound of honey.
Honey bees don’t just communicate through traditional means, but also through the medium of dance! To let other bees know where they have found particularly interesting pollen spots, a honey bee will offer an elaborate dance display as a ‘map’ of sorts for where they need to go.
There are three types of honey bees, most of them being workers and drones. There is a single queen bee in each hive, and she rules the roost. Drones stay in the hive and mate with the queen. Workers fly outside and find nectar and pollen.
The queen honey bee in a hive is able to lay up to 2,500 in a single day.
Honey bees and their pollination are thought to help support up to a third of the food we consume worldwide.
Worker bees will live for up to eight weeks, while a queen bee can live for up to five years.
Honey produced by honey bees has antibacterial properties and is thought to be up to a quarter sweeter than standard sugar.
Honey bees buzz not through their mouths, but through their wings. A bee’s wings are likely to beat over 11,000 times per minute!
Honey bees have been resident on Earth for more than 30 million years. However, they are a species under threat. Around 90% of honey bees are disappearing from locations where they may have previously been resident – and it is often down to collapsing colonies.
Honey bees are incredibly resourceful. You can even train them! Some have been able to coach bees to sniff out land mines in the same way they sniff out nectar.
Mead, one of the oldest alcoholic drinks on the planet, derives from honey, and it’s been around for centuries.
Honey bees fly as fast as 15 miles per hour, making them pretty hard to outrun!
Human beings don’t eat food produced by any other insect on the planet. That’s high praise for the honey bee!
Honey is not only used as medicine and as sweetener, but as a beauty aid. It can even be used to help aid hay fever sufferers!
Your average honey bee has five eyes in total!
Do you have any fun, strange or interesting facts about the honey bee that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!