Facts About Bees!

Here are some facts you may or may not know about bees.

1) Honey bees are assigned jobs based on their age!

1-2 Days Old Spend their time cleaning cells and keeping the brood warm.
3-5 Days Old They feed older larvae
6-11 Days Old They feed the youngest lavae
12-17 Days Old They produce wax, build combs, carry food
18-21 Days Old They perform guard duty, protecting the hive entrance
22+ Days Old They fly from the hive collecting pollen, nectar, water and pollinating plants


2) Honey bees don't always die when stinging someone.

While it is true that Honey bees almost always die when stinging humans, they do not so when they sting many other things. Due to the bees barbed stinger getting caught in our think skin.

3) Honey bees know that the world is round.

A honey bee uses a dance to communicate with other bees where to find food.

4) It would only take about one ounce of honey to fuel a honey bee for an around the world trip.

An individual honey bee can fly as far as five miles from the hive to search for food. A colony will have to fly 55,000 miles in order to produce 1 lb of honey, and one hive can produce around 60 lbs of honey in season. It takes about two million flowers being visited by the bees to make one pound of honey.

5) Honey bees are cold blooded

Bees create heat by vibrating their bodies. During flight honey bees keep a temperature of 130 F and a hive is on average 98 F.

6) Bees make honey.

Honey bees make honey by taking nectar from flowers and mixing it with anzymes from glands in their mouths. They then store the honey in hexagonal wax honeycombs until the water content of the honey reduces to around 17%. A worker bee will then cap the combs with wax, stored ready for winter.

7) Honey bees are not native to the Americas.

The honey bee was brought to the Americas by Europeans.

8) When a colony becomes overcrowed the bees will produce a new queen ready for the colony to split.

  1. Bees construct upto 20 queen cells.
  2. The existing queen lays a fertilised egg in each queen cell.
  3. The young nurse bees feed the young queen larvae with a special food called royal jelly, whilst extending the cell to a length of 25mm.
  4. Nine days later the first queen cell is sealed with a layer of wax.
  5. A large swarm leaves the hive led by the older bees, the existing queen thins ready for flight. She will leave with the swarm in search for a new home.
  6. Eight days later the new queen leaves her cell, she will either swarm and leave in search of a new home or kill the other unhatched queens and make the colony hers.
  7. The new queen will take flights and several mating flights.
  8. Three days later the mated queen will begin laying at a rate of 200 per day. Fertilised eggs become female worker bees and unfertilised ones become male drones.

9) The bees know the queen dies by smell.

They know this as they can smell the queens pheromones. If a queen dies worker bees will immeadiately start the process of creating a new one, as long as there is a lavae under three days old then it can be converted into a queen bee.

10) Changing queens will change the behaviour of bee colonies.

Beekeepers will use specific queens to control certain behaviours among colonies such as enthusiasm for work or general agressiveness.

Even more facts about bees coming soon!