Interesting Facts About Bees​

  • Honey bees have five eyes
  • Bees have been producing honey for at least 150 million years
  • A cave painting depicting an androgynous figure robbing honey out of the hive was found in the Cave of the Spider in Valencia, Spain. It is estimated to be 15,000 years old.
  • Honey stored in air tight containers never spoils. Sealed honey vats found in King Tut’s tomb still contained edible honey, despite over 2,000 years beneath the sands.
  • 80% of the pollination of the fruits, vegetables and seed crops in the U.S. is accomplished by honeybees.
  • A queen is the largest bee in the hive. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day, twice her own body weight per day.
  • Bees have to fly over 55,000 miles to make 1 lb. of honey.
  • Worker honey bees are all females. Males do not know how to even feed themselves and their only reason for being in the hive is for reproducing with the queen. The males do not have a stinger and they are kicked out of the hive in the autumn, because there are no uses for them.
  • Honey bees are very clean .They want their hive (which they made themselves, hexagon by hexagon) to be immaculately clean. If something dirties their hive, they will immediately get the offense out. The only honey bee in the hive that uses the bathroom inside the hive is the queen. She never leaves the hive, so her faithful workers get her mess right out. Bees will also make sure that when their time comes, they will die outside of the hive.
  • There is only one queen per hive. The queen lives 2-3 years. The queen is made, rather than born. Worker bees will feed larvae royal jelly for a certain period of time. The royal jelly is secreted through the heads of the worker bees and is fed through their antennas to the larvae. The royal jelly has so many vitamins and nutrients it will allow for the larvae to become queens. Since there can only be one queen per hive, the potential queen bees will fight to the death until there is one queen remaining.
  • Honey bees, like their name implies, are the only insects to make honey. Bumblebees make a honey like substance, but it tastes nothing like the sweet honey we know and love. They also make this in very small quantities. Honey bees though make honey in surplus so bee keepers are able to take a certain amount without hurting the bees or depriving them of food.
  • Honey bees never sleep! No wonder worker bees have such a short lifespan!
  • Honey bees are the only insects that produce something that humans eat. It is also the only food that never goes bad! Its sugar content is too high and because it is naturally anti microbial, (Anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti everything nasty) which is why it’s also such an incredible healer.
  • The honey bee colonies each have a distinct odor which allows for them to identify the members. Often times bee keepers will need to assimilate colonies. A way to do that would be to place bees from each colony into a paper bag together. The paper bag should have a divider so each colony stays in its own side. Being in the container together the smells will mix and they will not be able to recognize the other bees as enemies due to their familiar odor.
  • The Queen bee lays up to 2,000 eggs per day! She can also select the gender of the larvae. Most larvae that will be produced will be female..
  • To make one pound of honey it would take 556 workers and 2 million flowers. 50-100 flowers are pollinated during one collection trip. About one ounce of honey is all it takes to give the honey bee enough energy to fly around the world (although the farthest they usually fly away from their hive is six miles).
  • Honey never spoils. No need to refrigerate it. It can be stored unopened, indefinitely, at room temperature in a dry cupboard.
  • Due to the high level of fructose, honey is 25% sweeter than table sugar . . 
  • Honey is created when bees mix plant nectar, a sweet substance secreted by flowers, with their own bee enzymes.
  • To make honey, bees drop the collected nectar into the honeycomb and then evaporate it by fanning their wings.
  • Honey has different flavors and colors, depending on the location and kinds of flowers the bees visit. Climatic conditions of the area also influence its flavor and color. NZ’s Rata honey is nearly white, Manuka honey is rich ginger-brown and Black Beech honeydew honey is dark brown.
  • To keep their hives strong, beekeepers must place them in locations that will provide abundant nectar sources as well as water.
  • In the days before biology and botany were understood, people thought it was a special kind of magic that turned flower nectar into honey.
  • Honeybees are one of science’s great mysteries because they have remained unchanged for 20 million years, even though the world changed around them.
  • The true honey bee was not known in New Zealand until 1839, when an English woman Miss Bunby, introduced the European honey bee species we have today, Apis mellifera. The Americas didn’t have honey bees until they were introduced by Spanish, Dutch, and English settlers near the end of the 17th century.
  • Did you know that bees have 4 wings?
  • The honeybee’s wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
  • The queen bee is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength. She will lay about 1,000 to 1,500 eggs per day, without sleeping.

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