Honey Bee Facts
The honey bee or apis mellifera
is a technical name given to a variety of bee species.
An average bee colony will have about 50,000 bees.
Worker bees will visit about 50 to 100 flowers per trip. In a honey bee's short lifespan they will produce 1/12 teaspoon of honey. It takes a total of 2 million flowers to produce 1 pound of honey.
Bees are social and have a society ranking. The queen bee is the only bee that is fully secually developed and the biggest of the entire colony. All the bees wait on the queen bee's every need. In nature the queen bee lives as long as she is capable of ruling the hive. Today most beekeepers replace the queen bee annually or if she has died, is diseased or no longer producing pheramones to attract the males for mating. Queen bees are bred and raised by bee breeders.
In nature, bees will raise their own new queen bee to take the place of the old or sick queen so that the hive is never compremised. The first queen bee to hatch will usually kill off her competition in the cells before they are born. The queen bee lives much longer than the drones or worker bees. It is possible for a queen bee to live up to 2 to 3 years.
The drones are the male bees whose purpose in life is to have sex with the queen and procreate the hive. Drones do not have stingers and rarely venture outside of the hive. Dromes live approximately 4 to 6 weeks and die shortly after mating. Drones are sometimes killed by the worker bees to keep the population of the hive in balance with the food supply.
Worker bees are all female. They are thin and under-developed sexually so they cannot mate. They have the hardest jobs of all the bees in the hive, but they have stingers. The sole job of the worker bees is to work, work and work. Their job is to collect pollen and nectars from flowers and return to the hive. The pollen and nectars are stored in the beecomb cells as food for the colony. Worker bees live approximatley 4 to 6 weeks.
When a worker bee spots a good source for pollen and nectar, she will fly back to the hive and let the other bees know about it. The "bee dance" is the special communication that goes on within the hive with the communication of this information.
What makes a bee buzz?
~ Honey bees have 4 wings which stroke approximately 11,400 times per minute which creates the buzz we know so well.
Why do bees have stingers?
~ To protect the hive and themselves. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Since bees that defend the hive donít reproduce, the only way they can insure their genes are passed on is by protecting the hive and their reproductive relatives inside.
Why do bees die after they have stung?
~ A beeís stinger is made of two shafts, lined with barbs like fishhooks. When a bee stings, it canít pull the barbed stinger back out. It leaves behind not only the stinger, but also part of its digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves. This massive abdominal rupture is what kills the bee.
How do you remove a bee stinger?
~ Even after you swat the bee away, a cluster of nerve cells coordinates the muscles of the stinger left behind. The barbed shafts rub back and forth, digging deeper into your skin. Muscular valves pump toxins from an attached venom sac, and deliver it to the wound Ė for several minutes after the bee is gone. You mightíve heard people say you should flick off the stinger, or scrape it, rather than pinch it off. But since the stinger continues to work after the bee is gone, itís only essential that you remove it quickly.
National Science FoundationĒ:http://www.nsf.gov