Humans have long appreciated honey bees for their honey and beeswax. Honey bees live on stored nectar and pollen all winter where they cluster in a ball to conserve warmth; during this time, bee larvae are feed and cared for so that by spring, the hive is swarming with a new generation of honey bees.
A beehive can have a population of up to 80,000 honey bees, where its inhabitants are generally divided into three types.
- The Queen, there is typically only a single queen in the hive, and her only job is laying the eggs and regulate the hive’s activities. When the Queen dies, the worker bees feed a single larva, a food called “royal jelly” this enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen bee.
- Worker bees, which most people are familiar with, are all females; however, they can not lay eggs. Worker bees play an essential role in the hive; they collect food in the form of pollen and nectar, build and protect the colony, and help circulate air by beating their wings.
- Drones are male bees; they live in the hive during spring and summer but kicked out of the hive during winter months.
Did you know:
- Insect pollination, mostly from honeybees, is critical to a third of the world’s food supply.
- One bee has to fly approximately 90,000 miles to make one pound of honey — That is equivalent to going around the globe three times!
- Honey bees communicate with one another by dancing and pheromones.
- The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
- The buzzing sound you hear is made by their wings, which beat 11,400 times per minute.
- The average forager makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
- The Queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day.
- Honey has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties allowing it to be store extremely long periods.
- The Queen of a hive can live up to 5 years.
- Honey has long been regarded as medicine by many cultures.
Sources: Honeybee | National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/h/honeybee/ 20 Amazing Honey Bee Facts! | Matter Of Trust. https://matteroftrust.org/20-amazing-honey-bee-facts/ about the bees | HoneyLove. http://honeylove.org/bees/