The Word Honeymoon Came From Bees? And Other Fun Bee Facts

Here are the fun facts! Thanks, American Bee Journal!

The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.

A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour, hence it would have to fly around 90,000 miles -three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.

It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world

Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.

Honey bees produce beeswax from eight paired glands on the underside of their abdomen.

Honey bees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to be able to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.

Bees maintain a temperature of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in their central brood nest regardless of whether the outside temperature is 110 or -40 degrees.

A populous colony may contain 40,000 to 60,000 bees during the late spring or early summer.

The queen bee lives for about 2-3 years. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 2500 eggs a day.

The queen may mate with up to 17 drones over a 1-2 day period of mating.

The queen may lay 600-800 or even 1,500 eggs each day during her 3 or 4 year lifetime. This daily egg production may equal her own weight.

She is constantly fed and groomed by attendant worker bees

Worker honey bees live for about 4 weeks in the spring or summer but up to 6 months during the winter.

The average honey bee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

Honey bees fly at up to 15 miles per hour

The Honey bee’s wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.

A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.

Honey bees, scientifically also known as Apis Mellifera, are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators

Now to get back to the where the word Honeymoon:

Fermented honey, known as Mead, is the most ancient fermented beverage. The term “honey moon” originated with the Norse practice of consuming large quantities of Mead during the first month of a marriage.

So there you go! Amazing fun facts about our bees. Such little creatures, yet such important work.

How Do HoneyBees Talk to Each Other?

Honey bees do indeed have their own form of communication. They use it to find a new home, or where to go for nectar.

They use a form of dance. It has been named the waggle dance.

What is the purpose of the “Waggle Dance”?

The waggle dance is the method used to show other bees where the nectar is.

When the scout bee finds a really good source of nectar, she does this dance.

The honey bee walks and begins moving its abdomen all the while making a buzzing sound with her wings.

How far she walks and the speed of her wings tell the others how far the nectar is.

As the other bees get the direction they fly out of the hive right to the nectar.

If the nectar is considered close about 165 feet. the waggle dance is a series of round movements, to show that it is closer.

The sickle dance tells the others the nectar is further away.

This waggle dance is indeed quite a fascinating way to communicate!

Let’s Talk About the Birds and The Bees! (0r at least what the Bees do)

bees and pollination
Bees collecting nectar

So what is the relationship between flowers and Bees?

We have heard since childhood about “the birds and the bees” the euphemism about explaining sex.

Well, it turns out that Bees make sure that flowers do have a sex life.

The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. And pollination is how flowers and plants reproduce.

This Is How Pollination Happens

A bee is the collector of nectar and pollen. So as she goes from the flower of a plant she takes some pollen from the stamens—the male reproductive organ of the flower— and she sticks to the hairs of her body.

She then goes to visit the next flower. There some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the “stigma”, or tip of the pistil—which is the female reproductive organ of the flower.

When this happens, fertilization is possible, and a fruit, carrying seeds, can develop.

So the bee is totally the matchmaker for the flowers.

And Here The Story Gets Even Better

The flowers know they need the bees. so each flower has a scent that attracts the bee.

The bee is also attracted by the color of the flower.

Bees just happen to be attracted to flowers that are tubular or flat and open so the nectar is easily available.

So that is how the flowers and the bees work together to keep our food system in full bloom.

Amazing that tiny bees are responsible for flowers blooming, plants producing crops and honey as well. They are the only insect that provides food for us.

16,000 KINDS OF BEES?

According to Wikipedia, there are 16,000 known species of Bees!

Isn’t that a phenomenal amount of bees?

And they belong to 7 biological families.

What are the 7 Biological Families?

  1. Andrenidae – these are mining bees
  2. Apidae- this is the Honey Bee family
  3. Colletidae – these are called “plasterer bees”
  4. Halictidae- these are the “sweat bees”
  5. Megachilidae -these are the mason bees, carder bees, leafcutter bees.
  6. Mellittidae -mining bees that collect oils
  7. Stenotritidae -these bees are awesome fast flyers

Which continent does not have bees? Only one!

Antarctica!

They live anywhere that contains insect-pollinated flowers. And Antarctica does not have insect-pollinated flowers.

How Many Kinds of Bees Make Honey?

Only one of those 7 families called Apidae are Honey Bees.

Honey is made by what is called social honeymaking bees. They feed the hive and the queen through the winter. 

Most bee species don’t make honey. Why? Not being in the social bees classification they do not live in a hive!

In fact, most bee species are solitary bees. They live in the ground or in wood.

Which Species of Bees Make Honey?

Apis Mellifera, the Western Honey Bee, is the species recognized globally as the Honey Bee.

How Do Bees Do Different Flavors of Honey?

Dependent on the flower that the nectar was collected from is where the flavor comes from.

If the nectar came from clover, we have clover flavored honey. Or orange blossom honey! Our bees add natural flavorings!

In fact, if you buy honey and see that a flavor has been added that is not the bee doing it!

What Is The One Thing That Honey Maker Bees Have in Common?

The one thing that all honey maker bees have in common is they all have the same social structure. All honey makers are called “eusocial”.

That means truly social! So for the honey bees, they one Queen, and many workers. And they all have specific jobs!

What Is A “Race” of Bees?

A “race” of bees is the term used as for instance, a breed of dogs.

There are 20 races of Honey Bees. Only two are found in South Africa. The rest are in America, Europe, and Asia.

The most common races of Honey Bees are German, Italians, Caucasians Carniolans, and Africans.

There are also hybrid Honey Bees that humans have genetically modified. They are called Russians, Buckfast, Africanized, Cordovan.

If I Am New To Beekeeping Which Bee Race Would Be Best?

Apis mellifera ligustica also known as the Italian Bee is considered the favorite. It is known for being calm.

So much to learn about bees!

Do Bees Kiss? And Other Bee Questions

honey comes from bee kisses!

Yes, they do!

That is how they pass the nectar from Bee to Bee! So when the worker bee goes and collects nectar she stores it in her second stomach (that is only for nectar).

When she gets back to the hive, she transfers it to other bees.

So isn’t it amazing that we can say honey is made from Bee kisses?

HOW MANY LEGS DOES A HONEY BEE HAVE?

 The honey bee has three pairs of legs. They are divided into 6 segments so they are very flexible.   The front legs clean the antennae, while the rear legs have pockets so that the pollen can be collected. It is called a pollen basket.

DO BEES SLEEP?

No! But they do remain motionless during the night so that they have the energy for all the work they do the next day!

HOW FAR CAN BEES FLY PER DAY?

The bee has the capacity to fly 5 miles per day. But usually about a mile per day. But get this fact.

An entire bee colony can fly the distance between the moon and earth each day! Truly phenomenal!

HOW HIGH CAN A BEE FLY?

Depending on the obstacle in its path is how high a bee will fly. But mating drones will fly higher to find the Queen.

WHY DOES A HONEY BEE STING?

Only when the bee is frightened or feels the need to protect the colony.

DO BEES SEE COLOR?

Yes, they do! They see the ultraviolet and blue spectrum. And flowers reflect ultraviolet light so they are quite easy for the bees to find and see.

An interesting fact about color? Bees cannot see red!

HOW MANY EYES DO BEES HAVE?

Bees have 5 eyes! 2 large compound eyes. 3 smaller ocelli eyes in the center of their heads. Ocelli mean those eyes are simple eyes used only to see movement.

DO MALE AND FEMALE BEES HAVE STINGERS ?

No, they don’t! Only the female has a stinger.