Where would we be without honey bees? Pretty short on food, for a start! These hard-working, buzzy creatures really do live for the honey – and the way they protect their queens and source out the sticky stuff is always fascinating. So much so, we’ve lined up some seriously fun facts about honey bees to help you get to know these critters a little better.
1. There are three types of honey bee!
When it comes to honeybees, there are three generic “types.” There are the workers, the drones, and, of course, queen bees. There is always only one queen per hive, and, yes, it is one bee to rule them all. And she is precious!
2. Workers and drones are pretty tireless.
As you can imagine, workers tend to do a lot of the work in the hive! They are the bees that leave the hive to find nectar and pollen. On the other hand, drones have it pretty easy! They get to stay in the hive and mate with the queen. And, an honor it is!
3. It’s been a hard day’s night!
As tiny as they may seem, honey bees are pretty strong! They fly every day for miles to look for pollen – though they never like to stray more than a mile from their hive.
4. Around the world in 90,000 miles!
Did you know that a honeybee has to do a lot of flying about to get the honey we so frequently consume? In fact, one honeybee would have to travel about 90,000 miles (so, around three times around the world), just to make just one pound of honey!
5. What is the waggle dance?
Honeybees have various ways of communicating with each other – and one of the most curious of ways is through the “waggle dance.” Essentially, honey bees occasionally do a particular dance to inform their fellow hive-mates about quality pollen spots! The dance is seen as a sort of map to the area!
6. That’s a lot of eggs!
Just because she’s the queen, don’t think that the monarch of the hive hasn’t got her fair share of work to do, too! In fact, a healthy queen bee can lay up to 3,000 eggs per day! That means that she can lay more than her whole body weight in a single 24-hour period.
7. We rely on honey bees for food.
Although we tend to think only of honey bees when we use honey, they actually have a big part to play in broader food production. In fact, it is believed that honey bees help to support about a third of the food we consume across the globe!
8. They never stop working.
Worker bees generally live for up to eight weeks. However, a healthy queen bee can live up to seven years or even longer! However, her productivity does decline over time. We all get tired eventually!
9. Buzz, buzz, buzz!
If we try making a buzzing sound, it’s typically through our mouths. However, when we hear honeybees do it, it’s actually their wings that make that familiar buzzing noise! A honeybee’s wings can beat up to 11,400 times per minute!
10. Ever tried mead?
If you like a nice, strong, sweet drink, then you might want to try some mead! It is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages on the planet, drank by Vikings back in their day, and it comes from bees! Mead is made from honey.
FAQs about the Honey Bee
Do honey bees sting?
Although they are generally not aggressive animals, honeybees can indeed sting. They will do so if they feel threatened, usually to protect their hives.
Where do honey bees live?
Honey bees can live in both natural and more domesticated areas. They thrive in gardens, orchards, woodlands, and meadows. Anywhere plants and flowering flowers are plenty is great for a honey bee!
What do I do if a bee lands on me?
If a honey bee lands on you, don’t panic! Try to remain still and gently brush them off. They are not usually aggressive and will only sting you if they feel threatened.
Do you know any fun facts about the honey bee? Share them in the comments below!