Did you devour a hearty breakfast and drink a cup of warm coffee this morning? Well, thank the bees!
Most folks fear bees and desire to eliminate them, even if they are among the most beneficial species. Please remember that bees perform a crucial role in the food system before attempting to remove them.
If you don’t already know, bees pollinate almost a third of our food. Hence, acknowledging typical bee behavior and traits can aid in harmonious coexistence.
Approximately 20,000 bee species have been identified globally, including over 4,000 belonging to the United States. However, only a handful are managed by humans, and the majority are wild.
Table of Contents
Characteristics and behaviors
- Honey bees are among the most well-known invertebrates and the single most valuable handled bee species.
- Their color varies, but they are typically brown with a striped pale yellow and brown abdominal.
- Tiny fur-like hair is abundantly wrapped on the crown, thorax, and abdomen. Hairy areas include the limbs and the region around the eyes.
- Large swarms, controlled by a single queen, are home to these highly sociable bugs.
- Up to 60,000 worker bees might be found in a honey bee colony. Honeybees are social bugs that work together.
Honey Bee Facts of Workers
- The bees that we see roaming around are the workers. These flyers are females who have not yet reached sexual maturity.
- Worker Honey bees gather food sources, particularly in the form of pollen and nectar from nearby blossoms, construct and defend the hive, tidy, distribute air by flapping their wings, and participate in other communal tasks.
Queen Bee Facts
- The queen’s task is straightforward: she lays the eggs to give birth to the herd’s next brood of bees. A fertile queen can play over 3000 eggs per day during peak season.
- In a colony, there usually is only one queen. If the queen collapses, the workers will restore the position with a new queen by providing one of the female offspring an entire special food called royal jelly.
- Royal jelly aids in the development of the worker into a fruitful queen. Queens also control the colony’s activity by generating chemicals that direct the movement of the other bees.
Are honey bee Drones?
- Drones, the third level of honeybees, are male bees. Hundreds of drones dwell within every hive throughout the spring and summer, but many are eliminated during the winter when the colony goes into a tight survival mode.
Facts on Honey bee’s life
- Even though worker bees seem to be female, they are usually infertile. The queen lays the eggs, and they emerge after three days.
- The worker larvae are served royal jelly for two and a half days, followed by pollen and honey. They are then locked in their chambers for 12 days, during which time they weave a cocoon and mature into adults. It appears to take a total of 20 days to complete the process.
- Worker bees thrive five days later than queen bees but live for a lesser duration. Usually, adults of this bee species survive for as much as six weeks in the summer.
- A worker might survive up to six months throughout the winter months to assist the colony in surviving the low temperature and rear new workers for warm months.
- If the parameters are appropriate, all worker bee babies can turn into queen bees within about 48 hours if the larvae are given royal jelly throughout their five-day growth phase rather than honey and pollen.
- Workers can develop reproductive systems to produce emergency queens under specific situations, including the queen bee’s untimely demise or disappearance from the colony.
- These future queens are usually physically weaker and tiny than the ones delivered by the queen bee before she dies.
- When additional drones are required, workers can also lay eggs, albeit the baby bees are not quite as robust as those delivered by the queen. They are known as laying workers in this situation.
Why are honey bees important?
Pollination Services from these amazing insects for crop pollination, pollinators for flowers, and Commercial pollination have provided plenty of food for the world population.
The economic impact in the absence of a honey colony is unimaginable. The decline of honey production will cause hunger, epidemics, dryness, and wildfires.
- Pure bee’s honey is often used to cure eye disorders, sore throats, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, jitters, anxiety, dizziness, exhaustion, hepatitis, worm infestation, constipation, piles, dermatitis, wound healing, and ulcers.
- Honey is also a nutritious, readily digested diet for the elderly and infirm. Vomiting, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and diabetes mellitus are all treated with old bee honey.
- Bee’s honey is found in high concentrations in beauty treatments, including facial cleansers, skin moisturizers, hair conditioners, and acne healing.
- A spoon full of delicious honey for all our bakery goods might not be the most prominent and essential determinant to safeguard bees, as it has become apparent in current history.
- Bees contribute significantly to pollination, transporting huge grains of pollen across plants using the bristles on their bodies.
- Approximately 75% of crops produce higher yields when animals assist in pollination. European honey bees in the United States are the most important components of Agriculture.
- Honey bees are the most effective pollinators on Earth. They visit nearly 90 percent of the top 107 crops around us. They are necessary to grow many plants, especially food crops.
- Honey is stored in waxy honeycomb fortresses by bees. Our forefathers employed beeswax to produce candles, manufacture cosmetics, and perhaps even fix cavities as early as the 6th century A.D. It is most typically found in skincare products, furniture lubricants, and concrete gloss.
- Honey is also used to keep bronze and copper in good condition, waterproof leather, and produce the waxy film on cheese wheels.
- Honey has excellent antimicrobial qualities and is a healthier option for sweeteners in sweet treats and cuisine.
- Even a teaspoon of Honey is powerful enough to eliminate bacteria and fights infection in wounds, and because of tiny pollen, it has been demonstrated to treat allergies.
- Honey has frequently been advertised as a facial revitalizer with skin cleansing and wrinkle-reducing properties.
Society and the environment
- People have used the wisdom of bee etiquettes and interpersonal relationships when developing sentient strategies because bees are brilliant.
- Researchers have proposed that analyzing bee behavior could aid experts in developing emergency response plans to evacuate civilians from congested areas.
- Monitoring honeybee dances can also help experts understand where and how climate changes occur.
How to extract bee honey?
Method 1: Traditional Way
- The traditional approach to honey extraction is introducing fumes into the hive to pacify or chase the bees away.
- When the bees have abandoned the hive or have completely calmed down, the honeycombs are removed and pressed to discharge the honey.
- Some people keep their combs in a container with a hole in the bottom.
- A handful of burning embers are placed on the comb to drain the honey down the hole, where they are accumulated.
Method 2: Mechanical Honey Extractor
- A mechanical honey extractor is another more advanced option. This method removes honey without damaging the comb, where the extractors use centrifugal force to operate.
- A receptacle contains a frame basket that spins and flings the honey out of the comb. Consequently, the honeycomb remains intact utilizing this technique.
The only disadvantage of bees
- While their stings can be discomfiting and perhaps hazardous for allergy sufferers, they offer a minor menace to our ordinary routine. They only strike when they are frightened, for example, when defending their nests or disturbed.
- They produce pheromones, which cause other bees to approach and strike. When bees aren’t agitated or feel intimidated, they hardly ever attack. If you don’t want to get injured, leave their nest undisturbed.
The sting of climate change on Honey bees
- Honeybees are in dramatic collapse around the planet, with 10 million hives vanishing in the last three years alone.
- Honey bee colony densities are dropping steadily, with a 40% reduction in 2014 due to human factors, including pesticide usage and habitat destruction.
- As bees struggle to relocate to colder places and form new hives due to climate change, habitat and population degradation occurs.
- According to a recent study on bee movements, bee territories in North America and Europe have been reduced by about 200 miles.
- In South Africa, various organizations are working to protect crucial pollinator territory and secure national food security.
- Flowers appear in early spring as current average temperatures rise, potentially creating a seasonal disparity between when flowers yield pollen and bees feed on that pollen.
- Even a three to six-day mismatch can harm bee’s health, rendering them less likely to procreate and more vulnerable to predators and parasites.
- Honeybees are vulnerable to pests like Varroa mites and the gut parasite Nosema ceranae, and environmental exposures can exacerbate pathogens. In the early 1990s, experts discovered Nosema ceranae in Asian honeybees.
- The parasite has already spread to Europe and the United States, resulting in poorer life expectancy and colony crumble.
- A new analysis discovered that lower temperatures were linked to lower parasite occurrence, implying extreme temperatures driven by climate change could lead to more bees afflicted with Nosema ceranae.
- Mite infestations are also a critical issue for beekeepers. The best treatment for this is oxalic acid as a drizzle or fumigant.
Extra Facts on bees
- Bumblebees honey does not exist. They store nectar for the queen but do not produce any type of honey.
- Out of 20000 known types of bees, 4000 species are native to the United States.
- In the United States, more than 1,25,000 beekeepers rear bees for honey.
- The annual honey production worldwide was more than 1.77 million metric tons in 2020.
- When young, the female worker bees act as nurse bees whose job is caring for bee larvae.
- Honey bees have 170 odorant receptors that detect odor via antenna. The mosquito has 79 odorant receptors, while fruitflies have only 62.
- Genetic diversity is key for queen honey bee survival. The queen mates with the scores of drones. The worker bees will have different fathers creating each generation of bees slightly different from the previous generation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the 3 types of honey bees?
A honey bee colony has 3 types of adult bees, mainly average worker bees, queens, and drones. These cooperative insects show excellent teamwork by fulfilling designated tasks such as collecting nectar from flowers, nest building, and rearing the brood.
What is the difference between a bumble and a honey bee?
Though both bumble and honeybee belong to the Apidae family, the genus class of honeybee is Apis, and bumble is Bombus. The honey bee is thinner and smaller where, whereas the bumble bee is fuzzy and round.
Do honey bees sleep?
Of course, they do. They sleep for 5-8 hours at night after performing food collection and honey bee pollination for the whole day.
Can bees fart?
Yes, bees can fart the same as humans. The amounts of nectar and pollens that honey bee consumes go to the hindgut as the excrement from honey. The fecal matter contains air particles which then create expulsion and bee farts.
Does a honey bee die after biting?
A bee meets an unpleasant death after it bites humans or animals. The sting can’t be taken about with amputation, which takes a bee’s life. Even if it tries to bite a person and fails, it might suffer from a broken wing or injured body parts.
How much honey does a bee make?
It takes a lifetime for a single worker honey bee to make 1/12 tablespoon of honey. Imagine the effort taken to provide millions of jars per person to feed billions person per day.
Everything on our plate is the result of the bees’ hard work. The loss of bees does not indicate honey shortage but rather global food scarcity. Regardless, we have not been as considerate towards the honey bees.
Because several wild bee species can only endure in particular ambient temperatures, global warming has jeopardized the world’s bee population.
By now, we hope you see why and how honey bees are thanked for sustaining life on Earth.
And the next time you encounter one, let it buzz around. You will not have to experience their agonizing sting if you do not pose any threat!
If you want to explore such facts about amazing animals, here are our facts about Emperor Penguins of Antarctica. Know how anthropogenic actions are affecting the sweetest polar bird.
(Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)