Here, I’m going to share with you some of the most fascinating honey bee facts that you’ve probably never heard of. You’ll be surprised at how amazing these tiny honey producers are.
As you enter the fascinating bee-world, I’m sure that the following facts about honey bees will astound you!
Honey bees have an amazing memory and ability to recognize patterns. They can distinguish different shapes and objects – squares, circles, triangles, and diamond shapes (The first shape that a young honeybee sees is apparently the hexagon which makes up the honeycomb). Not only that, these amazing creatures can even specify the orientation of patterns and geometric objects in space!
This means that even if you tilt or shift an object by only a few degrees, or even change the shape of the object itself, a honey bee can still distinguish between different shapes and recall its exact position.
Another amazing honey bee fact is that they have preferences when it comes to the aroma and flavor of the nectar source. When a honeybee lands on a flower, it lands on its feet and ‘tongue’, known as a proboscis. The proboscis has taste receptors that can differentiate different flavors – sweet, sour, salty or bitter. What’s even more amazing is that the honey bees can detect the presence of sugar solutions as low as 2%, although the nectar collection only begins when it contains 30% sugar.
A honey bee can visit up to 10 flowers per minute and may stop at more than 600 flowers before making its way back to the hive!
Just like how an airplane needs to be fueled before take-off, a honey bee has to have a sufficient amount of energy supply before beginning its excursion. But the awesome part is that the honey bee can even estimate how much energy it would need to travel to the nectar sources!
Before take-off, a honey bee will drink a certain amount of ‘energizing honey’. With a 30 milligram load of honey, a honey bee can fly approximately 60 kilometers before having to refuel itself. Water is also essential for a honey bee to maintain its bodily processes and accomplish everyday tasks.
In its flight, a honey bee uses the sun’s compass position, gravitational field direction, and the UV polarization pattern to determine its direction. Along the way, a honey bee also memorizes any geographical landmarks.
Now, this particular honeybee fact is really interesting: Do you know that the honey bee can dance? There are typically two types of dance performed by the bees: the round dance and the waggle dance.
Why do bees dance? The honey bee dance is a method of communication for the honey bees to indicate that a food source has just been discovered. This dance passes the information such as the distance and direction of the food source.
Click here to learn more about the honey bee dance!
A honey bee is able to produce low-frequency sounds ranging from 250 to 500 Hertz. As for a dancing honey bee, it usually produces sound between 250 to 320 Hertz. Sounds are normally used in close range communication. In addition, when the honeybees rapidly flap its wings, the vibration that resulted from the flapping is transmitted along the hive walls, which is detected by the sensors in the feet of other honey bees. There is a special vibration that is only used by the queen bee, called ‘pipping’. This is used as a command for her hive citizens.
Read more about the honey bee queen.
The worker honey bees fan the cells as 24,500 wing-beats per minute!
Even at a very young age, the worker honey bee has a remarkable multitasking ability. Within 60 days, a young honey bee can perform as many as 20 tasks – from cleaning the cells to assisting the capping process.
A bee that is called to perform guard duty is true patriots. They give up their lives protecting the hive from any intruder – human, wild animals or other insects. These guard bees will sacrifice their lives by stinging any intruder and eventually die from the loss of their sting. By the way, a honey bee stings only once. This is because the stinger has barbs which hold it in its place. To get away, the bee has to pull away and this fatally tears the bee’s body.
This list of honey bee facts can go on forever…because the life of the honey bees is so interesting that there may be tons of other things about them that human beings still have yet to discover.
I hope that by learning the honey bee facts I’ve shared here, we are able to understand more about the nature and life of the bees. Not only are honey bees regarded as nature’s most hardworking creatures, but they possess amazing skills that really deserved to be known and understood by everyone.