Most of us usually run scared when we see honey bees buzz by!!! But they’re one of the most fascinating creations on this planet. From providing a great helping hand in pollination to producing the sweet honey that we all love, these small buzzing creatures pack a punch. Here are 10 most interesting facts about them.
#1- Honey bees can fly between 15-20 miles per hour-
Not the fastest fliers in the bug world, but fascinating fact as they have to flap their wings around 12000-15000 times per minute just to keep their bodies aloft. Considering this, 15-20 miles per hour is an achievement!!! This is taking into consideration that they’re fully loaded with pollen.
#2- Queen honey bees store a lifetime worth of sperm-
Generally a queen bee can live between 3-5 years, but her biological clock runs out faster. A week after emerging from her queen cell, the queen bee flies out to mate and must do so within the next 20 days, or risk loosing her ability. If successful however she never has to mate again as she retains enough sperm for a lifetime in her spermatheca.
#3- A queen bee can lay more than 2000 eggs a day-
Continuing from the previous point, the queen bee after 48 hours begins her lifetime goal of laying eggs. A queen honey bee can lay up to her body weight in eggs which on an average is 1500 a day. Over the course of its lifetime a queen bee can lay somewhere around 1 million eggs.
#4- Drone’s die immediately after mating-
Male honey bees (a.k.a. drones) live only until they mate with the queen bee. They serve only one purpose and that is to provide the queen honey bee with the sperm. Sounds like a dream job until one realizes that his genitals torn after the exercise and he dies a painful death!!!
#5- The queen honey bee determines the gender-
The queen gets to choose the sex of the bee larvae. Whats the interesting part you may wonder. Read this twice my friends- “An egg is either fertilized with some sperm, wherein a female worker bee is created. Or an unfertilized egg is laid from which a drone emerges.”
#6- You are what you eat-
Nowhere is this more evident than in the honey bee circle. The worker bees decide what to feed the larvae, this can result in a new queen or another worker bee. In the initial days the baby larvae are fed a rich fluid called royal jelly. If the nurse bees feel that the queen is not producing well or dying this is continued, else the diet changes to beebread and honey.
#7- A hive can produce an emergency queen if required-
In worst case scenarios, where a queen dies and she has laid eggs 5 days before her demise then one of the larvae’s diet is changed from beebread and honey to royal jelly. The interesting thing to note is beebread and honey shrink the ovaries of the worker bees. Now we know why a worker bee can’t challenge to become a queen honey bee.
#8- It’s women’s world out there-
All worker honey bees are female. Drones constitute only 15 percent of the total population of the colony. That said the presence of drones is the sign of a healthy hive. This is because drones only eat and mate.
#9- Honey Bees don’t want to sting you-
Wait what? Honey bees actually don’t want to sting you. Why? Because they die. Now nobody wants to die and this is a fact we must keep in mind before we run amok next time a honey bee buzzes past us.
#10- Honey Bees are clean freaks-
Honey bees work around the clock to keep the hive clean. In Fact the only bee allowed to defecate inside the house is the queen bee, and there are designated bees that clean up the same. They also do everything in their power to die outside the hive