Honey bees are wonderfully complex creatures of the animal kingdom! I find everything about beekeeping truly fascinating and fun to do! Over the years I have learned many interesting facts about bees – here are my most recent top five;
Fact 1 – At one to two days old, young bees spend their time cleaning their hexagonal cells. They start with the cell they are born in and their activity helps keep the brood warm (more on climate control later).
Fact 2 – The reason they die when stinging humans is that the barbs at the outer end of the stinger get caught in the many layers of our flesh. In turn, the other end of the stinger is attached to their intestines – so their guts are ripped out! They die by evisceration! This does not happen when they sting other animals – their stingers don’t get caught, which allows them to sting their non-human prey, many times.
Fact 3 – Honey bees communicate through dance! They essentially use dance to communicate sources of food, water or housing.
Despite the fact that Honey bees are cold-blooded (and most cold-blooded creatures do not have the ability to generate heat), they can produce heat by vibrating their tiny bodies. During the cold weather months, they MUST keep the hive at 95 degrees or the queen will die. If the queen dies, no more bee colony.
Fact 5 – It would take an ounce of honey to fuel a bee to fly around the world!
A single honey bee can fly as far as five miles from its hive, searching for food/pollen. Most honeybees will travel a total of 50,000 miles to make 1 pound of honey. They can produce up to 60 pounds of honey per hive. They need 20-25 pounds of their honey to survive cold weather climates.