Fun Facts About Bees

One Third of the Food we Eat are Only Available Because of Bees

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Grow Flowers to Attract Bees and Other pollinators

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The Honey Bee, A Wonder of Nature

The bee builds honeycomb nest and makes honey. It survives the winter months by eating stored honey.
The bee builds honeycomb nest and makes honey. It survives the winter months by eating stored honey. | Source
Figs and Honey Christmas Cake
Figs and Honey Christmas Cake | Source

Bed Time For Honey Bees

It is once again that time of year when our busy little friends the honey bees are settling down for the winter; they are all tucked up nice and snug inside their hives.

Since the bees are enjoying a well-deserved rest, as the temperature drops below 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13.8 Celsius) now is the ideal time to take the opportunity to learn a few more facts about our usually very active and hard working little friends.

What is a Honey Bee?

The honey bee is an insect of the genus Apis of the tribe Apini. Western or European honey bees are Apis mellifera. The body of the honey bee consists three parts:

  • Head
  • Thorax
  • Abdomen

A bee has three pairs of jointed legs, stiff hairs on the rear pair of legs allow the bees to store pollen as it flies from flower to flower. The front legs are used as a comb to clean away crumbs. The thorax or middle section of the body is where the two pairs of wings are attached.

The honey bee has two antennae on the forehead containing thousands of small sensors which allow the insect to detect a scent, rather like the human nose. And yes, bees do have five eyes. Bees have two large compound eyes, and three smaller simple eyes which are known as ocelli eyes positioned in the center of the head. Bees do not sleep; they remain still at night to preserve their energy for a busy day of foraging.

More Bee Facts:

  • The first Apis bees appear in the fossil records in deposits dating around 35 million years ago in Europe
  • The Native American called the honeybee 'the white man's fly.'
  • Honeybees were carried by ship to California in the early 1850s
  • Honey bees seem to have originated from Southeast Asia. Apis dorsata, also known as the giant honey bee is native to south and southeastern Asia and makes its combs on high tree branches, on cliffs, and sometimes on buildings
  • Apis Florea is a dwarf honeybee that makes its small exposed nests in trees and shrubs. The sting of Apis Florea is incapable of penetrating the human skin
  • The honeybees have 170 odorant receptors, compared with the fruit flies 62, and 79 in the mosquitoes. Their remarkable sense of smell includes kin recognition signals, social communication within the hive, and odor recognition for finding food; each colony smells different to bees.
  • For those of us who are not allergic to bee stings, it would take around 100 stings to be fatal
  • Each colony has a distinct odor for member’s identification
  • There are 900 cells in a bee's brain
  • Bees have pollinated one-third of all the plants we eat
  • Bees have been around for more than 30 million years
  • There are many different types of honey. Taste varies according to the flower used
  • Bees have two separate stomachs, one for food and the other only for nectar
  • The average honeybee can fly at a speed of 15 miles per hour
  • Bees drop the collected nectar into the honeycomb and evaporate it by fanning their wings to make honey. Once sufficient moisture has been evaporated the bees then cap over the honey
  • Bees are busy producing honey in almost every country in the world
  • China holds the record for producing the most honey. The Chinese are producing 305,000 metric ton of honey, accounting for 25% of all exported honey in the world, and 20% of the total global production of honey
  • The United States has suffered a decrease in its honey production but still maintains the position of the 2nd largest producer behind China
  • Utah is known as the Beehive State
  • South Dakota, North Dakota, California and Florida are the US biggest honey producing states

Myths & Legends

  • In ancient Egypt, during the time of the pharaohs between 3000 BC and 3050 BC the honey bee was the royal symbol
  • If a bee were to fly into your home when you are expecting visitors, and you kill it, the guest will bring bad news.
  • In some culture, the bee is considered to be associated with purity, since the worker bee that produces the honey never mates.
  • When a honeybee returns to the hive after a foraging trip, it sometimes performs a dance. The dance is believed to be a set of movements that reflects in miniature the details of the journey. Nobel Prize winner, Professor Von Frisch study on the bees behaviour, for which he won the Nobel prize, concluded; the honey bees' dance communicate information about the location of a food source to the hive mates. This information, allows them to make use of the same source. However, the Professor's interpretation has been persistently debated.

Don’t forget

  • Only worker bees have stings if they feel threatened they may sting; and once they sting, the bee dies.
  • We rely on these amazing little creatures for a vast amount of the foods we eat, and not only that, but we also depend on them for that glorious amber nectar. For those of you in 'The Land Down Under', no not Foster's, the other amber nectar; the food of the Gods....we're talking Honey.
  • So the next time a honey bee buzz by you, take a moment to appreciate truly this little wonder of nature that is the honey bee.

Wild Flowers Will Attract Bees, butterflies and Other Pollinators

Melons are Pollinated By Bees

Source

Honey is Known to Boosts immunity, Fight Bacteria and Energizes the Body

Source

Bees Honey, Healthy, nutritious and Health promoting

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Comments 24 comments

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi lurana, thank you for stopping by and for the supportive comment. Those industrious little critters deserves all the help they can get, it would be so nice to see the numbers getting back to normal again but we'll just have to wait and see. My best to you.


Lurana Brown 3 years ago

I love the bees and learned so much from this!! Thank you for being an advocate for these fascinating and extremely important creatures.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi Ausseye, thank you for such a sweet comment. :). yes life is indeed sweet and long may we enjoy this reprieve, now that doomsday have passed. However, they do say when the bees disappear we will not be far behind, so we need to see that our little friends sticks around.


Ausseye 3 years ago

Hi to the busiest: Wow so bee there and receive the nectar of time!!!! I wonder if bees were worried on the 21/12/2012?? You have made my world a little sweeter and I am anticipating a “honey of a time”…..you have inspired some great thoughts and I am in aware of you research and information base. Love your hub and the quality of your communication…..” To Bee or not to Bee, that is the question” and the world is a place of honey and nectar ..as you have painted the picture here!!!


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Vellur, nature can be so amazing, we can learn a lot from those industrious little bees.

Thank you again for taking a look. My best to you.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Great hub. Many facts that I did not know about. Voted up useful and interesting.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Yours sounds an idealic childhood. Nature is indeed wonderful, thank you so much for the visit and lovely comment.


By Lori profile image

By Lori 4 years ago from USA

I LOVE bees, ever since childhood. Our front and back yards were full of citrus trees,flowers,and sometimes vegetables and I used to like to watch the bees at work. They are hard-working little creatures and I'm very fond of them.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Kashmir, yes,we should all be thankful for our little friends. Thank you for dropping in, always good to see you.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend, without the bees i would not be able to have my garden every summer. Thanks for all the interesting and great information on them !

Vote up and more !!!


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Irish, they probably thought, oh no.....not another bloody woman driver! :)). Thank you for stopping by. My best to you.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

They are an extremely important part of the path Mother Nature takes. Although when I ran over them with the lawn mower this summer, I did't have a whole lot of love for them!


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Mhatter, lovely to see you on this beautiful snow covered morning in Luton:).

There are so many studies, each one comes up with a different reason for the colony collapse disorder. But I think the general consensus is that the culprit is the pesticide neonicotinoid.

They do say the bees are like the canaries that were once used in mining, nature's way of warning us that things are deteriorating.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. The U,S. bee problem is starting to bring to the surface some interesting interconnections.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Wetnose, thank you for the very kind comment, I agree with you 100% about the bees.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

A great learning read. Bees are intelligent, awesome creatures.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Eddy, very much appreciated. My best to you.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

So well informed ,interesting and useful.

Thanks for this hub from which I have learnt much.

Enjoy your day.

Eddy.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Billy, ouch!!....but you're right, we are attacked only when the bees feels threatened, and are protecting the hives. We all need to be a little more bee friendly, they are pretty amazing.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi Kerry, I believe the bees are active all year round in the tropics, they do not produce elaborate nests because they do not need to insulate from cold temperatures. The bees will instead, swarm and change location to find the best source of food.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Frank, rather like us; the bees only die during winter, if there is insufficient food available, so don't steal all their honey. The poor old workers get pushed out in the cold to die. sounds familiar? :0


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love bees, and thanks for the education, Jo! Great facts. I have only been stung once in my lifetime and it was my fault.


KerryAnita profile image

KerryAnita 4 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

Very interesting hub. I learned a lot:) Do bees "go to sleep" in warm climates or are they active all year round?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

well teach I've learned something.. I always thought bees died out in the winter and the new ones come up fresh in the fall.. :( well thank you

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