Bee Facts

Bee Fact No 1

A bee has 5 eyes – two with compound lenses and three light sensors on the top of their heads.

Bee Fact No 2

Bees know if the Queen dies because they will no longer smell her pheromones. If the Queen dies prematurely the worker bees will immediately start doing what is necessary to create a new Queen from an existing larvae. As long as there are larvae under 3 days old they can be converted to a Queen Bee.

Bee Fact No 3

It takes one colony of honey bees (around 30,000 bees) to pollinate an acre of fruit trees. Pollination success increases if there are more honey bees present at the time of peak flowering.

Bee Fact No 4

A worker bee gathers in her entire life 1/10 tsp of honey.

Bee Fact No 5

Honey bees have 170 odorant receptors, compared with only 62 in fruit flies and 79 in mosquitoes. Their exceptional olfactory abilities include kin recognition signals, social communication within the hive, and odor recognition for finding food. Their sense of smell is so precise that it could differentiate hundreds of different floral varieties and tell whether a flower carried pollen or nectar from metres away.

Bee Fact No 6

The honey bee’s wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.

Bee Fact No 7

A hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles, the equivalent of three orbits around the earth to collect 1 kg of honey.

Bee Fact No 8

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

Bee Fact No 9

The bee’s brain is oval in shape and only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things and is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.

Bee Fact No 10

A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen. Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work.

Bee Fact No 11

The queen bee can live up to 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 2,500 eggs per day.

Bee Fact No 12

Larger than the worker bees, the male honey bees (also called drones), have no stinger and do not work at all. All they do is mate.

Bee Fact No 13

Each honey bee colony has a unique odour for members’ identification.

Bee Fact No 14

Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened and they die once they sting. Queens have a stinger, but they don’t leave the hive to help defend it.

Bee Fact No 15

Honey bees communicate with one another by dancing.

Bee Fact No 16

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.