10 Interesting Facts About Honeybees

Updated on August 4, 2017
mayyam profile image

I sold and packaged honey for a local beekeeper. It was there that I conquered my fear of bees and learned how fascinating they truly are.

Thats me, holding a frame of bees in 2007!
Thats me, holding a frame of bees in 2007!
Differences between the Worker, Queen, and Drone
Differences between the Worker, Queen, and Drone

For a few years, my summer job was working for a local beekeeper. I would sell and package honey and I got to witness many interesting occurrences. I was terrified of bees before I started working there. Now, I not only got over my fear, but I am fascinated by them as well. Honey bees are very important to us and are responsible for a great deal of the world's pollination. I have compiled some very interesting facts that I learned working for a beekeeper. Hopefully, you'll learn something!

1. Worker honeybees are all females

Males do not know how to even feed themselves and their only reason for being in the hive is for reproducing with the queen. The males do not have a stinger and they are kicked out of the hive in the fall, because there are no uses for them.

2. Honeybees are very clean

I'd like to think they have slight OCD (like me). They want their hive (which they made themselves, hexagon by hexagon) to be immaculately clean. If something dirties their hive, they will immediately get the offense out. The only honey bee in the hive that uses the bathroom inside the hive is the queen. She never leaves the hive, so her faithful workers get her mess right out. Bees will also make sure that when their time comes, they will die outside of the hive.

3. There is only one queen per hive.

The queen lives 2-3 years as appose to the 6-8 weeks like the workers. The queen is made, rather than born. Worker bees will feed larvae royal jelly for a certain period of time. The royal jelly is secreted through the heads of the worker bees and is fed through their antennas to the larvae. The royal jelly has so many vitamins and nutrients it will allow for the larvae to become queens. Since there can only be one queen per hive, the potential queen bees will fight to the death until there is one queen remaining.

4. Honeybees are the only insects that make honey

Bumblebees make a honey like substance, but it tastes nothing like the sweet honey we know and love. They also make this in very small quantities. Honey bees though make honey in surplus so bee keepers are able to take a certain amount without hurting the bees or depriving them of food.

5. Honeybees never sleep

No wonder worker bees have such a short lifespan!

6. Honeybees are the only insects that produce something that humans eat

It is also the only food that never goes bad! Its sugar content is too high. Edible honey was found in King Tut's tomb!

7. Honeybee colonies each have a distinct odor

The odor allows them to identify the members. Oftentimes, beekeepers will need to assimilate colonies. A way to do that would be to place bees from each colony into a paper bag together. The paper bag should have a divider so each colony stays on its own side. Being in the container together the smells will mix and they will not be able to recognize the other bees as enemies due to their familiar odor.

8. The queen lays around 2,000 eggs per day

She can also select the gender of the larvae. Most larvae that will be produced will be female.

9. The average honeybee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime

To make one pound of honey it would take 556 workers and 2 million flowers. 50-100 flowers are pollinated during one collection trip. About one ounce of honey is all it takes to give the honey bee enough energy to fly around the world (although the farthest they usually fly away from their hive is six miles).

10. Bees are responsible for 80% of pollination that occurs

So next time you're eating any fruit or vegetable, thank a honey bee!

A photo I took of the queen bee. She is surrounded by nurse bees, and is laying eggs.
A photo I took of the queen bee. She is surrounded by nurse bees, and is laying eggs.

Bees are very important to us. If honey bees made a hive near your house that you want to get rid of, please do not use pesticides! Call a local bee keeper and you can have it removed!

Are you afraid of Honey Bees?

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Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Rrrrere 

        2 months ago

        I love bees

      • profile image

        stupid 

        3 months ago

        0w0

        i love bees

      • profile image

        nicole summers unicorn 

        8 months ago

        I don't like bees but I don't care unless they are lose to me

      • profile image

        pavan y 

        9 months ago

        i love this website

      • profile image

        KHLOE 

        16 months ago

        i love this website we are learning about honey bees in schhool

      • profile image

        Logan Hanna 

        19 months ago

        I appreciate your passion for honey bees and the interesting lives they lead. However, I do have a problem with the insultingly incorrect portrayal of a very serious mental illness.

        Please take the time to educate yourself on this topic with these reliable sources:

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/obsessi...

        https://greatist.com/live/what-is-ocd-not-a-neat-f...

      • profile image

        hi 

        22 months ago

        why do honeybees have hair on there eye

      • profile image

        unknown 

        22 months ago

        How do you know if bees can sting you ? Also, how can you tell if they are nice or mean.

      • profile image

        Hi 

        22 months ago

        hey everyone

      • profile image

        Pavan arora 

        24 months ago

        Nice

      • profile image

        twizz 

        2 years ago

        WTF bro i already know this crap

      • profile image

        pervaysia 

        2 years ago

        love bees when pollinate

      • profile image

        Shabeh Cheema 

        2 years ago

        i like the question

      • profile image

        Sadsack 

        2 years ago

        It's a trade-off. Wild bees make extra honey because they regularly have it stolen by bears, birds, mice, other insects, etc. which makes it hard to survive (the thieves also tend to eat the bees and bee eggs/larva for protein. When humans take care of them, we know to not take all the honey and not hurt the bees while doing so. (Some of the bees get squished even if you're super careful, but not in the huge numbers that get eaten in the wild.)

        Beekeeping and agriculture mean that it's within humans' best interest to use our accumulated knowledge of bees to keep them alive and safe from predators and illness. Even if a new threat for which they don't have a natural defense crops up or travels in from another part of the world, humans will do all sorts of things to fix the problem and protect their bees.

        So it's evolutionarily advantageous for the bees to trade excess honey for human care and protection.

      • profile image

        saturnx311 

        3 years ago

        I love bees. The only question I have is that, considering that a bee will only produce a 1/2 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, what right do we humans have to then take the honey away?? What is our rationale for this?

        Thank you!

      • profile image

        monawar 

        5 years ago

        thanks for information

      • profile image

        bhvgfyf 

        5 years ago

        why do bees lay honey

      • profile image

        Beelicious. 

        5 years ago

        Wow. My mom LOVES bees, and I probably seem to her really "whatever" about them, but they are actually interesting. When I was little I learned to like bees and hate wasps. Wasps just keep on stinging, and living, while the sweet bee who flutters around on her little wings dies as soon as she stings. I have a huge end of 8th grade essay to prepare for and I have now chosen bees! Thank you!

      • profile image

        Hygtfrtyhhffr 

        5 years ago

        Honey bees are interesting so I can do my spelling homework

      • profile image

        sticky fingers 

        6 years ago

        beeee god

      • whonunuwho profile image

        whonunuwho 

        6 years ago from United States

        Thanks for the nice facts about our honey bees and why they are important. whonu

      • profile image

        doris 

        6 years ago

        I'm writing a paper about honey bees and this is really helping! :)

      • profile image

        cally cony 

        6 years ago

        bad thing i have a project of honey bees

      • EsmeSanBona profile image

        Aisling Ireland 

        6 years ago from Bolingbroke, GA

        I had no idea that worker bees were female--I always thought they were male. I guess I had some bizarre idea that the only female in a hive was the queen and the rest were males. I also did not know that they never slept nor that they were so obsessive about cleanliness that they died outside the hive. Fascinating!

      • profile image

        Steves Bees 

        6 years ago

        steve bees

        twitter@Steve_Webb_

        I would like to tweet this page as It is brilliant !

        Thank you and enjoy your bees, it is wonderfull that I found another like minded hero ;)

        Best wishes

        Steve

      • profile image

        danessa 

        6 years ago

        bees are soooo scary

      • profile image

        James Townsend 

        7 years ago

        In reference to #6; in Australia there is a honey ant... Which also produces honey that humans eat... Aboriginal Australians have been eating the honey for over 60,000 years and were also a source of supplement to the early settlers here...

      • profile image

        carissa fronco 

        7 years ago

        yall suk my boobies

      • profile image

        devin 

        7 years ago

        i love the rock

      • profile image

        devin g 

        7 years ago

        it's devin here with my best buddy shaun

      • profile image

        devin 

        7 years ago

        i love kelly kelly

      • profile image

        zack ryder 

        7 years ago

        woo woo woo u know it

      • profile image

        Kourtney Robinson 

        7 years ago

        I am scared of bees because they sting and I am alergic to them so I hate bees

      • profile image

        maggi 

        7 years ago

        this facts helps me learn ore about bees..........

      • profile image

        sandy 

        7 years ago

        Very nice to read

      • profile image

        sandy 

        7 years ago

        Very nice to read

      • profile image

        tytujgy8 

        7 years ago

        hi this has lots information

      • profile image

        buzzy 

        7 years ago

        these facts are cool

      • profile image

        buzz 

        7 years ago

        do u know a website with a floral calender for bees

      • profile image

        areesha 

        7 years ago

        your website helped me a lot in my project and i

      • profile image

        sandy 

        7 years ago

        this help me on my report about honey bees [= thanx a lot to this site !

      • profile image

        nicola 

        7 years ago

        i have been stang by a bee it is very sow i thought it was a fly

      • jeremytorres profile image

        jeremytorres 

        8 years ago

        Yeah. So cool and interesting to know 'em.Great!

      • profile image

        Beekeeping Supplies 

        8 years ago

        i like the queen bee very much, thanks

      • profile image

        cece 

        8 years ago

        w...o...w... queen bees are so weared

      • profile image

        Simi 

        8 years ago

        Hi mayaa i think your hub is interesting and Id like to hear more.

      • diogenes profile image

        diogenes 

        9 years ago from UK and Mexico

        Hello Maya: I found your article by accident...you have to be the best looking bee keeper extant! I did a small hub myself, before I read yours or others on hubpages as I do a lot of insect stuff. I should check first but, well, you get an idea and charge in..I had a good couple of books in my library for research. Surely you're a model in "real" life? Bob

      • profile image

         

        10 years ago

        Aya- I believe there is more variation then that. It happens naturally so its just like any other animals having children.

        hey Rhys, contact beekeeper71@gmail.com for all the pricing and information you would need. you can tell him that you found him through Maya. He is a great beekeeper and really, really knows what hes doing. (beekeeping has been around in his family for a few generations). He doesn't have an official website to sell stuff because, well, hes a beekeeper not a programer (hehe), so if you email him he'll be happy to provide you with all the information.

      • profile image

        Rhys 

        10 years ago

        do u sell bees and how much do bees hives sell for and on what websites

      • Aya Katz profile image

        Aya Katz 

        10 years ago from The Ozarks

        Mayyam, great hub. What can you tell me about genetic variation in bees? Are all females clones of each other, or is there more variation than that?

      • profile image

        Organic Honey 

        10 years ago

        1. Bees have five eyes.

        2. Bees fly about 20 mph.

        3. Bees are insects, so they have 6 legs.

        4. Male bees in the hive are called drones.

      • mayyam profile imageAUTHOR

        mayyam 

        10 years ago

        Well, they can be dangerous, but honey bees know that if they sting something bad will happen, although they don't necessarily know that this means death. Therefore, they will only sting if they feel threatened or they feel that their hive is being threatened. So although they can sting, they wont unless you bother them!

      • profile image

        Giselle 

        10 years ago

        how do you know.... that they are not dangerous?

      • profile image

        Giselle 

        10 years ago

        cooool!

      • profile image

        Solomon  

        10 years ago

        This is awesome.

        I wish I were a bee.

      • profile image

        Noodle 

        10 years ago

        I love your page.

        I love reading interesting facts about the bees.

        Bees make me happy.

      • funride profile image

        Ricardo Nunes 

        10 years ago from Portugal

        Hi Mayya, welcome to Hubpages! I loved to read your hub ;)

        I have a good friend who is an apiculturist and I´m also starting to learn all I can about bees and everything needed to produce honey. Thanks for enlightening me ;)

        You`re very beautiful btw, a natural queen...

        Have fun!

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