Bees are fascinating insects. There aren't too many people who have no interest in the world of honey bees. So important are they to the way we humans live our lives that bees will never be out of the spotlight.
Want to learn some serious trivia on bees and their lifestyle? There's a good chance that a lot of what you read here will be an eye-opener into the world of these fascinating insects.
One Pound of Honey
Honey bees have to gather nectar from around 2,000,000 flowers to produce just one pound of honey. If a single bee were to make a pound of nectar by itself, it would have to fly 90,000 miles. To put that into some kind of perspective, that's equal to three trips around the globe.
A Life's Work
On average, a single honey bee will only ever make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime. Don't be fooled into thinking the bee isn't busy, because it is. On the scope of things, that's one heck of a lot of work.
The average bee can fly up to 15 mph, or more with a little help from a backwind.
Honey for Fuel
If a bee were to fly around the world, it would need just one ounce of honey to fuel the trip.
A Busy Bee
A honey bee will visit somewhere between 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
All worker bees are female.
Bees Need Flowers Need Bees
Bees need to be able to find the flowers that are useful to them. And flowers need bees to find them too. Many flowers have bright markings and strong smells which help to attract bees and other insects. Some flowers also have dark lines called honey guides. Scientists think these lines help insects to find their way into the flowers.
Bees per Colony
A full colony of bees will literally have tens of thousands of worker bees and just one queen. It may also include some drones (male bees).
The Food of Bees
The honey bee is the only insect on earth that produces food eaten by humans. There are plenty of places around the world where people eat insect as food, but bees are our only insect food producers.
Here is some scientific reading into the research of bees that you may find interesting.
J Exp Biol. 2016 Mar 4. pii: jeb.134874
Dancing to her own beat: honey bee foragers communicate via individually calibrated waggle dances.
Schürch R, Ratnieks FL, Samuelson EE, Couvillon MJ.
PLoS One. 2016 Mar 11;11(3):e0150362. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150362. eCollection 2016.
How Honey Bee Colonies Survive in the Wild: Testing the Importance of Small Nests and Frequent Swarming.
Loftus JC, Smith ML, Seeley TD.
There's a lot more to bees and the products of bees than first meet the eye. This really is one of nature's fascinating insects and we still don't know everything there is to know – yet.