Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination. The honey bee is a small sized bee that inhabiting quiet forests, jungles, meadows and gardens all all over the world. There are only 7 recognized species of honey bee out of 20,000 different bee species found worldwide.
Fast Facts about Bees
1. The honey bee has been around for millions of years.
2. Honey bees, scientifically also known as Apis mellifera, which mean “honey-carrying bee”, are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators.
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3. 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 forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), 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. But come winter, when the hive goes into survival mode, the drones are kicked out!
4. Honey is used by the bees for food all year round. There are many types, colors and flavors of honey, depending upon it’s nectar source. The bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowering trees and plants.
5. The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
6. Honeybees communicate with each other through ‘dance language’, which consists of movements made by the honey bee’s tail. Honey bees primarily use this form of communication to warm other honey bees of oncoming danger.
7. The honey bee is a herbivorous animal and therefore lives purely on the nutrients from plants.
8. A hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles, the equivalent of three orbits around the earth to collect 1 kg of honey.
9. Honey bees are fab flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second!
10. If the queen bee dies, workers will create a new queen by selecting a young larva (the newly hatched baby insects) and feeding it a special food called ‘royal jelly’. This enables the larva to develop into a fertile queen.