Bees are important because they produce honey, pollinate crops, and serve as an example for roboticists who want to imitate their swarm intelligence.
Honey produced by bees is considered to be beneficial for many health-related problems. The darker honey represents the best quality full of essential nutrients.
These hard-working and dedicated creatures work till death. There are many facts about bees that will amaze you.
Archaeologists in the Middle East have discovered traces of beekeeping dating back at least 3000 years, confirming the Bible’s portrayal of Israel as “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Bees belong to the insect order Hymenoptera, along with wasps, ants, and sawflies. After humans, bees are the most scientifically investigated creature.
Except for Antarctica, there are over 20,000 different species of bees around the world. Bees have been flying in the sky and sucking the nectar for more than 30 million years.
Bees have three pairs of legs with specific purposes. The rear pair with stiff hairs store pollen from flower to flower, and the front pair is to clean its antenna.
Beehives are perennial and become inactive in the winter but awaken again in spring. When bees die, they are quickly replaced. Workers are replaced every 6 to 8 weeks and queens every 2-3 years.
The length of the queen bee is twice the length of the worker. There are two stomachs present in bees- one for eating and another for storing nectar.
They communicate through chemical scents called pheromones. There are many such interesting facts about bees most of us are unaware of.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of honeybees is their cooperative behavior, which biologists refer to as eusociality.
Solitary bees are smaller than other bees, and their family consists of just one pair. Solitary bees work alone, even though there are a lot of them in one location.
Mason’s bees, leaf-cutter bees, and mining bees are examples of solitary bees. Their large furry bodies characterize the black and yellow striped Garden bumblebee and the Red-tailed bumblebee.
The Wool-carder bee weaves its nest by removing hair from plants, while the Red Mason bee lives in hollow plant stems and holes in wood.
Facts About Bees Infographic
Bees have a very sensitive organ as they can smell and taste with receptors. Bees live in a colony, and queen bees are the ones they work for.
Let get into the lifestyle, behavior, and characteristics of these tiny insects. Here are some interesting facts about bees to learn. Have a look:
1. Bees are extremely important to the economy
What did you have for breakfast today? Toast with jam? With your fry-up, how about some grilled tomatoes? Maybe some fruit juice or a cup of coffee? It’s easy to believe that bees produce honey, but they’re also responsible for a lot of the food we consume, including most fruits and vegetables.
Bees are vital to our economy; pollination would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year if they didn’t exist. Our food would be much more expensive to produce in a world without bees, and our economy would suffer as a result.
2. Bees work extremely harder than us
Bees travel 1 to 6 km on a scavenging trip. The longest distance traveled by bees is recorded to 20km and can fly up to 15 mph.
Worker bees can live for nine months during the winter. However, they seldom survive more than six weeks in the summer, as they practically work themselves to death.
This dedication and passion towards duty until the last breath is one of the powerful facts about bees.
3. Bees are modifying medicine
Beehives contain five different substances: honey, royal jelly, pollen, beeswax, and propolis. Bees use propolis, a resin derived from poplar and evergreen trees, to strengthen their hives.
While bees use it as caulk, humans also use it to battle bacteria, viruses, and fungi. According to studies propolis help with cold sores, canker sores, herpes, sore throats, cavities, and even eczema.
Honey is the source of the important substance known as pinocembrin, which is used by pharmaceuticals in many research, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activities.
Since ancient civilization, bee venom has been used for several ailments, including arthritis and high blood pressure.
The chemicals collected from the plants and herbs enhance medicinal purposes. The health benefits and treatment are one of the amazing facts about bees.
4. Bees 170 odorant receptors
Bees have 170 odorant receptors or chemoreceptors in their antennae to detect an odor. They have a sense of smell 50 times stronger than dog.
When the antennae identify the scent, the bee’s hypersensitive olfactory receptors process the information, and the olfactory receptor neurons enable them to detect pollen’s odor.
Every bee colony has a distinct scent to identify its relatives or members. These receptors equip bees to expertly and effortlessly locate pollen-rich flowers.
5. Their feet are surprisingly smelly
According to researchers from the University of Bristol, bumblebees may use “smelly footprints” to differentiate between their scent, the scent of a relative, and a stranger.
This means they’ll have a better chance of finding food and avoiding flowers that have already been visited. The use of the smell to act accordingly is one of the amazing facts about bees.
6. Bee-friendly environments are also beneficial to humans
Pollinator-friendly environments are also helpful to humans. We share bees’ desire, like natural green spaces and the necessities such spaces provide, including clean air and water. Natural spaces trap excess water and heat and provide cool shade, critical to coping with a changing environment.
7. Individual bees have distinct personalities
Honey bees and bumblebees live in swarms, with a queen in charge and male drones and female worker bees serving her. According to their capability, all these distributions of the respective work are widely known facts about bees.
Bees have a colony of around 50,000 workers and are managed by the queen bee. They are all working for the queen bee, and when she is removed, within 15 minutes, the whole colony will know it.
A 2011 study discovered that irritated honeybees might be negative, indicating that bees may have emotions to some degree.
Female bees are the workers of the colony. The undertaker bees are given charge of removing dead bees from the hive.
Most colony members do not reproduce, instead of serving as devoted servants to a single breeding female.
8. Not all bees sting
Bees avoid stinging because once they do, they die. The male or drones are unable to sting; the worker or female bees are responsible for stinging.
Bees sting when they are threatened or provoked; despite having a stinger, most female bees cannot sting. Queen bees can sting but are near the hive, so it’s rare to be stung by the queen.
9. Bees have taste sensors
The tips of antennae consist of over 300 taste sensors which look like little tiny hairs and are more sensitive than the tongue. The specialized enlarged follicles of bees known as chaetic and basiconic sensillae extrude from the exoskeleton.
The gustatory receptor cells present in the sensillae examine the taste retrieved by the tip of antennae, mouthparts, or front legs’ feet. The examination process takes place in the esophageal ganglion, a large nerve cell cluster attached to the brain.
Bees stick their tongues out only when they are offered something tempting. The sense of taste is important for bees to gather food and recognize fellow colony members.
10. Bees have two pairs of wings
Bees have two pairs of wings attached to the thorax with tiny teeth to lock synchronically. Bees flap their wings 200 times per second, creating a buzzing sound.
The front and rear wings hook together when they are about to fly, unhook when they are not flying, and fold easily.
11. Bees have five eyes
Bees have two compound eyes and three simple eyes or ocelli in the center of the head. Male drones have bigger eyes which helps them to trace queen bees.
The ocelli don’t detect any shapes but the light. They are triangularly located on the head and can see if the predator is approaching from above.
There are two large compound eyes on both sides of the bee’s head. They are made up of numerous tiny cells called ommatidia that help them piece together the image they captured.
12. Bees can identify the human face
Honeybees see faces in the same way as we do. They take individual features, such as brows, lips, and ears, and piece them together to form the entire face.
According to The New York Times, the method is known as “configural processing.” It could help computer scientists improve face recognition technology. These facts about bees are technically acknowledging and motivating.
13. Bees can solve hairy mathematical problems
Pretend it’s the weekend, and you’ve got some errands to run. You must visit six stores, each of which is located in a different city. How far would you go in the shortest amount of time when visiting all six? This is known as the “traveling salesman problem” by mathematicians, and it can even stump some computers.
For bumblebees, though, it’s a piece of cake. Bumblebees travel the shortest route between flowers, according to researchers at Royal Holloway University in London.
Bumblebees are the only animals believed to have solved the problem so far. The sense of traveling the shortest distance for hunt is also one of the surprising facts about bees.
14. Bees Reproduction
After mating high in the sky, the male bee loses reproductive organs and dies. The queen bee mates at an early egg and collects more than 4 million sperm, enough to lay eggs throughout her life.
Queen is capable of laying 2,000 eggs within a single day. The fertilized eggs become female or workers bees and the unfertilized eggs become male bees or drones.
The eggs are placed next to each other within a cell in an organized manner. Queens lay their eggs in the center of the cell frame for workers to place the food for larvae on the outer edge.
Queen lays fewer eggs and in the random pattern when they start to age. The new queens are bound to mate and lay eggs when the older queen cannot lay eggs.
One of the amazing facts about bees is their reproduction process.
15. Bees help us in capturing serial killers
Serial killers are like bees in their actions. They commit their crimes close to home but far enough away that no one notices. Bees gather pollen near their hive, but far enough that pests cannot find it.
Scientists analyzed bee activity and devised a few algorithms to determine how this “buffer zone” works. Their results strengthened the computer models that cops use to track down criminals.
16. Bees provide job opportunities
The average American consumes honey of 1.51 pounds each year. Furthermore, the United States Department of Agriculture reports that honeybees pollinate up to 80% of the country’s crops, implying that bees pollinate over $15 billion in crops per year. The insect as important as bees for pollinations are butterflies, like peacock butterflies, and so on.
17. Single Beehive produce 11 kgs of honey a season
During a season, the average hive produces about 11kg of honey! That’s roughly the equivalent of 24 cans. To produce one pound of honey (less than half a kilogram), bees must travel approximately 55,000 miles.
18. Bees use navigation techniques similar to those of Vikings
The Sun serves as a compass for bees. When it’s cloudy, they have a backup plan: they use polarized light and special photoreceptors to locate the Sun’s position in the sky.
The Vikings may have used a similar system: on sunny days, they used sundials to navigate, but on gloomy days, sunstones—calcite chunks that function like a Polaroid filter—aided them in staying on track.
These navigation techniques they apply are one of the astounding facts about bees.
All these facts about bees mentioned above prove how intelligent, organized, and responsible they are. Humans can learn many things from bees for survival.
The modern technology of medicine and face recognition are tracing bees’ patterns to achieve results that seem to be magnificent.