Many people don’t know that bees are officially declared as the most important living beings on this planet. According to Albert Einstein: “If the bees disappear, humans would have 4 years to live”, since 70% of the world’s agriculture depends exclusively on bees. Pollination – perhaps the most important function of bees – enables the plants to reproduce. Without them, the fauna would soon begin to disappear.
The importance of bees should be specially emphasized since in recent years, due to the uncontrolled use of pesticides, almost 90% of the bee population disappeared.
Bees are unique and interesting in many ways and some of them are presented in the next section.
Queen Bee Facts
The Queen bee can live up to 6 years.
The worker bees feed the Queen bee with royal jelly during her whole life. Genetically, the worker bee and the queen bee are the same and the only difference is in the food they consume. The lifespan of a summer worker bee is about 6 weeks, but a queen that feeds exclusively on royal jelly can live up to 6 years.
Queen bee mates with up to 16 drones
The Queen bee can mate with up to 16 drones over a mating period of 1-2 days. She holds the sperm of many different drones to allow genetic diversity in the hive. This assures a diverse cast of worker bees with different skills.
Queen Bee stores a lifetime supply of sperm
The Queen Bee stores a lifetime supply of sperm, used to fertilize the eggs in her 4-6 years of lifespan. She determines the sex of the bees, depending on the needs of the colony. The fertilized eggs develop into female worker bees, and the unfertilized ones develop into a male bees – drones.
The Queen bee can lay up to 2.000 eggs a day
The queen can lay 600-800 or even 2,000 eggs every day during her 3 or 4 year life. This daily egg production can equal twice her own weight. She is constantly fed and cared for by accompanying worker bees.
Honey bee facts
The larvae increases its weight by 300 times in 5 days
The larvae (egg) of all bees in the first days of their development are fed with Royal jelly, and thus it increases its weight by 300 times in 5 days.
Bees don’t carry any type of pathogen
Bees are the only living being that does not carry any type of pathogen – regardless of whether it is a fungus, a virus or a bacterium.
Bees can fly up to 15 miles per hour
A honey bee can fly up to six miles and up to 15 miles per hour, so it would need to fly about 90,000 miles – three times around the world – to make a pound of honey.
Bees maintain a temperature of 30 to 35 degrees Celsius in their central brood nest, regardless of whether the outside temperature is 40 or -40 degrees.
A honeybee colony may contain 40,000 to 60,000 bees in late spring or early summer.
Worker honey bees live for about 6 weeks in spring or summer, but up to 9 months in winter.
The average honey bee only produces one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey over its lifetime.
A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a foraging trip.
Drones – male bees
Main purpose in life of drones is to mate with the Queen
Aldo recent studies tell different story, but many beekeepers believe that mal drones have only one purpose in life – to mate with the Queen. The “lucky ones” who have the opportunity to mate with the queen, die immediately after the act. When a drone releases his semen, his endophallus is ripped from his abdomen, and he dies shortly after.
Drones are incapable of feeding themselves
Drones are incapable of foraging for food or feeding themselves. They are fed by the worker bees, and expelled outside from the hive during the winter, where they die.
Drones can feel the presence of the Queen up to 2 km
Drones have glands that can feel the queen coming for fertilization and at a distance of up to 2 kilometers. After mating with the queen, the drone dies immediately.
Bee products facts
Honeybees need to consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.