Interesting Bee Facts
- Honey is Kosher! Click here for more information.
- During a short approximate 30-40 day life, a honey bee will gather nectar to make about 1/2 teaspoon of honey.
- Honey bees are not native to North America. They were first brought to Virginia from Europe by colonists in approximately 1622.
- Honey bee pollination is necessary for about 1/3 of all USA grown crops.
- Bees can see the same colors we can, except they don’t see red.
- Honey is the only food without an expiration date.
- Honey has antiseptic properties and is used to treat surgical wounds, burns and skin infections.
- Honey bees communicate through a dance that is called the “waggle dance”.
- Bees wax will melt at approximately 145 degrees.
- Propolis, also referred to as “bee glue” is made from sticky plant and tree resins. It has an antibacterial property.
- A honey bee lives about 30-40 days in the summer and between 4-9 months in the winter.
- The male honey bee is called a drone, and does not have a stinger.
- It takes approximately 2500 bees to weigh 1 pound.
- Honey bees gather 10 pounds of nectar to make 1 pound of honey.
- Honey Bees fly around 15mph.
- How do bees make honey?
Honey is the sweet fluid produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers. Worker honey bees transform the floral nectar that they gather into honey by adding enzymes to the nectar and reducing the moisture.
- It’s estimated that about 2/3 of the honey used by a given colony is used to generate heat for the hive.
- Certain species of Honey bee will actually use a heating effect as a weapon against invading insects. For instance, when attacking wasps, they’ve been observed to surround the wasp in a ball and begin beating their wing muscles and vigorously vibrating. The combination of lack of oxygen for the wasp inside the ball and the drastically raised internal temperature will eventually kill the wasp.
- Honey bees will also use this “heat balling” technique to kill the queen when necessary, such as when the queen is no longer capable of performing her duties and a new queen is installed.
- No Honey bees are known to have existed in the Americas until the Europeans introduced them to North America in 1622 in Jamestown, Virginia and it wasn’t until another 16 years that another shipment of Honey bees was sent to North America, though the existing population had already begun the process of spreading themselves in the New World. It took another two centuries or so for Honey bees to prominently propagate to the west coast of North America
- Africanized bees, a.k.a. “Killer Bees” (which aren’t nearly as deadly as Hollywood would have you believe, indeed they are popular among Brazilian beekeepers), originated in Brazil and were the result of experiments by researchers there, one of which accidentally let a Queen bee escape. From that one queen, the hives have spread north all the way to the southern United States.
- Bees make glue called “propolis” from various resins, tree saps, etc. they find about. They not only use it to help repair their hives, but also as a defensive weapon, particularly against insects like ants. They’ll sometimes coat branches and other things surrounding access to their hive, in order to trap any insects trying to get to the hive. In addition to that, if a predator too big for the bees to remove gets in the hive, but is subsequently killed, rather than leave the body to rot in the hive, thus compromising the health of the colony, they’ll coat it in a thick layer of propolis to mummify it.
- Another interesting job certain Honey bees have is as alarm bees. When they sense a threat to the hive, they’ll release pheromones which then cause the other bees to become aggressive and attack whatever is perceived threat.
- Honey bees have barbed stingers, unlike most other stinging bees. This results in their stinger and lower abdomen getting ripped off when they sting something fleshy like humans, ultimately leading to the death of the Honey bee. However, when stinging many other things like insects, this doesn’t happen and the bee can live to sting whatever they perceive as a threat many times.
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