You may know about the benefits of honey from my another article Honey bee facts. I stated before, honey is used in several products as prime ingredients. Honey itself is a rich food and valuable ingredients of many high end foods and beverages. It’s widely used in herbal medicine for natural remedies of health and beauty purpose. Here you’ll find 21 amazing facts about honey bee including the benefits of honey.
Benefits Of Honey – 21 Amazing Honey Bee Facts!
01. History of honey bee is very old – approximately for millions of years.
02. Its scientific name is Apis mellifera (honey-carrying bee). They are environmental friendly and vital for pollination of fruits and crop.
03. They are only the insect capable to produce honey.
04. A Honey bee has 6 legs, 2 compound eyes on the both sides of head, 3 simple eyes on the top of head, 2 pairs of wings, and 2 stomachs. The specialty is that 2 compound eyes are fabricated with thousands of tiny lenses, and one stomach is used as a nectar pouch.
05. The Honey bee has 170 aroma receptors, where as fruit flies have only 62 and 79 in mosquitoes. They have exceptional ability to recognize family members, signals for social communication within the hive, and aroma recognition for finding food. Their sense of fragrance is so accurate that they can differentiate hundreds of different flower varieties and tell whether a flower carries pollen or nectar from few meters away.
06. In one trip a honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers to collect honey.
07. Honey is only the food contains all the substances necessary to sustain life. It includes enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water. Also it’s the only food contains “pinocembrin”, which is an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
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08. One hive of bees can fly around 90,000 miles in total to collect 1 Kg of honey, which is the equal to three orbits around the earth.
09. A bee can fly around the world with one ounce of honey as fuel.
10. A honey bee can fly 15 miles per hour, up to 6 miles with wings speed/stroke of 200 beats per second. Hence, it makes a distinctive sound that is different from other insects.
11. Although, the bee is having an oval shape brain about the size of a sesame seed, yet they have significant capacity to learn, and remember things they experienced. They are also capable to make complex calculations on distance for traveling, and measure efficiency.
12. About 20,000 to 60,000 bees live in a colony. Most of them are female or worker bees, few male and only one queen bee. Average life span is 6 weeks for worker bees.
13. The queen bee can live up to 5 years, but not capable to lay sufficient eggs over whole life. While eggs are not enough to keep the colony healthy, the Beekeepers usually generate a new queen and discard the old one.
Workers bees also always keep eyes on the queen. While they feel the existing queen becomes weak, they make queen cells for larvae and feed royal jelly instead of bee bread to produce a new queen.
A queen bee can lay eggs up to 2500 per day at summer. She lays eggs for male or female bees as per the colony requirement. While she uses stored sperm to fertilize the eggs, the larvae hatch as female. When she left the eggs unfertilized, the larvae hatches as male. So, the female bees inherit genes from mother and father, while the male only from mother. Learn more about the honey bee life cycle.
14. Another name of male bee is drone. They are larger than female in size, don’t have stinger, and don’t work at all except mating with queen. While food scarce in winter, the female bees try to reduce the male bees. They kill some of male bees, pull out from the nest and throw out the colony.
15. Each honey bee colony has a distinctive aroma for members’ identification.
16. Only worker or female bees are habituated to sting while they feel vulnerable. The queen uses her stinger for own defense only. About 1100 honey bee stings are estimated to be deadly.
17. The worker bees produce honeycomb from wax with hexagonal shaped cells. They consume 6 to 8 pounds honey (collected nectar from flowers) to produce 1 pound of bee-wax. Their duties are scheduled naturally from the first day to the end of life. Duties are assigned based on the age of worker bees. They spend full life with works until death. Although their life span is very short, but they have the most saving tendency among all creatures of the earth.
18. An Average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her total lifetime. In the winter, they feed on the honey they collected during summer. Learn more about the duties of worker bees.
19. In winter they block all the unnecessary holes of the colony to make a tight shelter and keep them warm. In summer, they gather in line at the entrance and stroke their wings to throw out hot air from the colony. But in winter they stroke their wings in reverse mode intend to flow hot air from out side into the colony.
20. Their mode of communication is dancing. While they find any new source of nectar, they explain it to the fellow with dance, that indicates the distance and direction of source.
21. They are very organized, and like colonial life which is the best example of unity. You’ll find your bees festooning (bees hanging on to one another, leg to leg, like a bridge) between the frames. Although it’s very common, but still now the reason remains undiscovered. It’s assumed that they are making unity for the preparation to tackle some possible hard time in near future. Now you know that the bees have some special characteristics that any other insects don’t have. If you know your bees well you can play with them. Learn more about honey bee art!
Resources of information
- National Honey Board
- American Honey Producers Association
- American Bee Journal
- Experience of my own beekeeping project