11 Unbelievable Facts about Bees – #11 is Amazing
Bees are arguably the most important living creature for our environment. They are also the most studied, only second to humans. During the long history that humans have shared with bees over thousands of years, it’s’ no wonder we have learnt so much from them and depend on bees for life to exist as we know it. There are literally thousands of facts we could mention but we will outline just 11 unbelievable facts about bees here.
1. A honey bee colony has about 50,000 bees
More than 99% are infertile female bees (worker bees). At most only few hundred male bees (drones) and just one mother (the queen bee).
2. A queen bee will only mate once in its lifetime
This is usually in the first 10 days of its life when it will go on a mating flight to mate with about 15 to 20 drones in mid-air. It will then store about 100 million sperm in its spermatheca for its entire life.
3. A queen bee can lay twice it’s body weight in eggs each day
That’s about 2500 eggs in a single day.
4. Bees have 4 wings, 6 legs and 5 eyes
This includes 3 simple eyes and 2 compound eyes made up of around 7000 facets or lenses each.5.
5. Bees see blue better than red
This enables bees to see ultraviolet light and use this to help navigate their way around and assist identifying flowers as they pollinate. Yet bees cannot distinguish red colours well at all.
6. A bee flaps its’ wings up to 200 times per second
This produces the familiar bee buzz. This rapid flapping produces a small positive charge that attracts pollen to its furry body from flowers that are negatively charged naturally.
7. Worker bees communicate with a dance
Whilst all bees produce and sense pheromones to communicate, only the worker bees dance to communicate with other workers. This is known as the waggle dance. She will rapidly shake her body from side to side in a certain direction to tell worker bees which direction and how far food sources can be found.
8. Bees collect and produce more than just honey
These include many things used by bees and harvested by humans including propolis, pollen, beeswax, royal jelly and bee venom. Learn more about bee products.
9. A honey bee will produce about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its’ lifetime
This depends on where the bees live and from which flowers bees are able to forage. This means bees will collectively visit thousands of flowers to make just one teaspoon full of honey.
10. The drones only purpose in life is to mate with a queen bee
It does not work or forage at all and can not sting.
11. Drones do not have a father
But have only a mother and a grandfather. The drone is created from an unfertilised egg and inherits all its genetics from its mother and its grandfather. This is known as parthenogenesis.