EDUCATION

Amazing Bee Facts!

Wax

  • Beeswax is secreted in the form of a scale about the size of a pinhead by worker bees that are 12 to 18 days old.

  • The worker honeybee has eight wax-secreting glands under its abdomen.  It takes about 800,000 scales to make one pound of beeswax.

  • When its first secreted, beeswax is tasteless, odorless, and almost colorless.  Beeswax obtains its golden color and honeyed fragrance as a result of the propolis and pollen collected by the honeybees.

Honey

  • The average honey bee will make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime

  • It takes over 550 worker bees to gather 1 pound of honey from about 2 million flowers.

  • A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.

  • Just as lavender flowers smell different from rose, geranium, or hyacinth, honey made from the nectar of different flowers tastes different, too, and has different properties.

Bees In Flight

  • The honeybee’s wings stroke 200 beats per second, creating their distinctive buzzzzzz

  • A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour

  • Honey bees are cold blooded. A bee in flight has a body temperature of 130 degrees, but can quickly loose heat (and sometimes the ability to move!) if caught in the rain. A  honeybee hive is kept at a temperature of around 95 degrees, even in the depths of winter.

Life in the Hive

  • A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen

  • Worker honey bees are all female, live 3-5 weeks (in the summer, they can live longer in the winter) and do all the work in the hive.

  • The queen bee lives for ~3-5 years and is the only bee that lays eggs. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 1,500 eggs per day.

  • Honeybees sting only if they feel threatened and they die once they sting.
  • During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.