The incredible honey bee
We love bees. They're absolutely fascinating to us for reasons we will reveal below! Here are some fun facts to share at your next cocktail party:
- Honey bees are like flying velcro balls. If you look closely you will notice that they are covered in fine hairs. About three million to be exact. With all of that pollen velcro, they are able to fly with their own weight in pollen and nectar.
- Bees pollinate ⅓ of the world’s crops.
- It takes the nectar from 5 million flowers to make one pint of honey.
- Every day, each worker bee can put in a 12 hour shift and visit 100’s of blossoms per day.
- Honey bees will leave the hive and return approximately 10 times per day.
- Worker bees are all female, and live for approximately 1 month.
- Worker bee tasks include nursing the young, foraging, hive maintenance and construction. Every worker bee will run through all of these jobs in the course of their lives.
- Male bees are called drones. They are helped from their cells (unlike worker bees, who have to fight their own way out) and fed immediately by the worker bees.
- Only 100 bees per 10,000 are born male, and their sole purpose is to mate with the queen. They will die at the completion of this task.
- The queen bee can lay up to 1,000,000 eggs in her lifetime. She typically lays 200,000 per year, and will live from 1-4 years. She will only stop laying eggs in colder temperatures.
- The Queen communicates with scent and pheromones. This is the way she prevents other females from laying eggs
- Young honey bees grow up fast. In 6 days a larvae’s weight increases 1500 times! The transformation from larvae to adult bee takes 3 weeks.
- When the colony gets too big and starts running out of room it is time for the queen to leave with half the population and a new queen to be crowned.