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.
How Much Do You Know About Bees?
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 have not only gotten over my fear but I have also become fascinated by bees. 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 beekeepers 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!
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 beekeeper and you can have it removed!
Santo on July 07, 2020:
Bees are very amazing useful live beings. I have TRIGONA stingless bees in my garden.
San on June 22, 2020:
I have brazilian natives bees!
Bob on May 18, 2020:
KOOTNAI on January 29, 2020:
i am doing a great brain and this is so helpful
Hans on January 11, 2020:
Nice article. Very interesting. I love bees, am not afraid of them because if you don't annoy them they will not sting you. And I am thankful for the delicious honey they make!
??? on October 26, 2019:
I dont really like bees but I want to say thank you for the honey
Rrrrere on June 26, 2019:
I love bees
stupid on May 31, 2019:
i love bees
nicole summers unicorn on January 14, 2019:
I don't like bees but I don't care unless they are lose to me
pavan y on December 11, 2018:
i love this website
KHLOE on May 24, 2018:
i love this website we are learning about honey bees in schhool
Logan Hanna on January 30, 2018:
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:
hi on November 03, 2017:
why do honeybees have hair on there eye
unknown on November 02, 2017:
How do you know if bees can sting you ? Also, how can you tell if they are nice or mean.
Hi on November 02, 2017:
Pavan arora on September 18, 2017:
twizz on August 11, 2017:
WTF bro i already know this crap
pervaysia on April 18, 2017:
love bees when pollinate
Shabeh Cheema on April 16, 2017:
i like the question
Sadsack on December 20, 2016:
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.
saturnx311 on February 21, 2016:
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?
monawar on July 26, 2014:
thanks for information
bhvgfyf on May 29, 2014:
why do bees lay honey
Beelicious. on April 11, 2014:
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!
Hygtfrtyhhffr on December 11, 2013:
Honey bees are interesting so I can do my spelling homework
sticky fingers on April 19, 2013:
whonunuwho from United States on March 27, 2013:
Thanks for the nice facts about our honey bees and why they are important. whonu
doris on March 05, 2013:
I'm writing a paper about honey bees and this is really helping! :)
cally cony on January 01, 2013:
bad thing i have a project of honey bees
Madailein Aisling Ireland from Seattle, WA on December 19, 2012:
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!
Steves Bees on October 16, 2012:
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 ;)
danessa on October 15, 2012:
bees are soooo scary
James Townsend on May 15, 2012:
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...
carissa fronco on March 26, 2012:
yall suk my boobies
devin on March 23, 2012:
i love the rock
devin g on March 22, 2012:
it's devin here with my best buddy shaun
devin on March 22, 2012:
i love kelly kelly
zack ryder on March 22, 2012:
woo woo woo u know it
Kourtney Robinson on March 15, 2012:
I am scared of bees because they sting and I am alergic to them so I hate bees
maggi on February 25, 2012:
this facts helps me learn ore about bees..........
sandy on December 06, 2011:
Very nice to read
sandy on December 06, 2011:
Very nice to read
tytujgy8 on November 07, 2011:
hi this has lots information
buzzy on November 01, 2011:
these facts are cool
buzz on October 23, 2011:
do u know a website with a floral calender for bees
areesha on October 15, 2011:
your website helped me a lot in my project and i
sandy on October 04, 2011:
this help me on my report about honey bees [= thanx a lot to this site !
nicola on October 02, 2011:
i have been stang by a bee it is very sow i thought it was a fly
jeremytorres on August 23, 2011:
Yeah. So cool and interesting to know 'em.Great!
Beekeeping Supplies on August 09, 2011:
i like the queen bee very much, thanks
cece on June 13, 2011:
w...o...w... queen bees are so weared
Simi on October 18, 2010:
Hi mayaa i think your hub is interesting and Id like to hear more.
diogenes from UK and Mexico on April 13, 2010:
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
on May 10, 2009:
Aya- I believe there is more variation then that. It happens naturally so its just like any other animals having children.
hey Rhys, contact email@example.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.
Rhys on May 10, 2009:
do u sell bees and how much do bees hives sell for and on what websites
Aya Katz from The Ozarks on April 01, 2009:
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?
Organic Honey on March 20, 2009:
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 (author) on March 04, 2009:
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!
Giselle on March 04, 2009:
how do you know.... that they are not dangerous?
Giselle on March 04, 2009:
Solomon on March 03, 2009:
This is awesome.
I wish I were a bee.
Noodle on March 03, 2009:
I love your page.
I love reading interesting facts about the bees.
Bees make me happy.
Ricardo Nunes from Portugal on February 22, 2009:
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...