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The Honey Bee Is The Only Insect That Produces Food Eaten By Man

World Honey Bee Day on the third Saturday in August brings a buzzing celebration for beekeepers, honey lovers, and all blooming things.

The day recognizes both the honey bee and the beekeepers who tend the hives. It also encourages everyone to enjoy and buy locally grown honey.

  • When we plant wildflowers, orchards, and other flowering plants, we support pollinators such as honey bees. They depend on the nectar of a variety of plants for their survival.
  • Conversely, we depend on honeybees for our survival, too! Without their pollinating abilities, many nutritious plants wouldn’t reproduce.
  • Besides, their delicious honey is an added bonus. We enjoy it in our baking, teas, and confections.
  • Honey bees do sting, but only if they perceive a threat – damage to their hive or being swatted at.
  • Since they seek sweet nectar, sugary drinks and sweets will attract honey bees when flowers are not blooming yet.  So, keep your beverages covered.
  • If a honey bee comes close, either hold still or move slowly away. The honey bee will fly along to the next sweet thing as long as it doesn’t feel threatened.
  • Also known as an Apiarist, a beekeeper is responsible for maintaining hives. This may include inspecting for disease and other issues, replace the queen bee if needed, provide forage or bee food, offer pollination services, and harvest honey.
  • One honey bee colony can have a population of 20,000 to 60,000 bees.
  • When conditions are ideal a healthy hive can produce up to 200 pounds of honey per year.
  • How many queens does a honey bee colony have?  One. If the queen dies, the hive or the beekeeper will replace her. The hive also consists of male bees called drones and female worker bees.
  • There are a lot of nutritional benefits because of the antioxidants that are included. These include phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids, as well as organic acids. The antioxidants that are found in honey have been linked to lowering the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and some forms of cancer. They are also believed to assist in terms of eye health.
  • Honey has been used for many years as a topical treatment for healing burns and wounds. In fact, this can be dated back to Ancient Egypt.
  • The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
  •  Honey is the only foodstuff that contains all of the necessary nutrients to sustain life.
  • A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour, hence it would have to fly around 90,000 miles -three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.
  • It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.
  • Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.
  • Honey bees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to be able to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.
  • The queen bee lives for about 2-3 years. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 2500 eggs a day.
  • The queen may mate with up to 17 drones over a 1-2 day period of mating.
  • The queen may lay 600-800 or even 1,500 eggs each day during her 3 or 4 year lifetime. This daily egg production may equal her own weight. She is constantly fed and groomed by attendant worker bees
  • If the queen honey bee is removed from the hive, within 15 minutes, the rest of the colony knows about it!
  • Worker bees are always female and are the only bees to have stingers.
  • Worker honey bees live for about 4 weeks in the spring or summer but up to 6 months during the winter.
  • The average honey bee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  • The Honey bee’s wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
  • A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
  • Fermented honey, known as Mead, is the most ancient fermented beverage. The term “honeymoon” originated with the Norse practice of consuming large quantities of Mead during the first month of marriage.
  • Bees have 5 eyes
  • Bees are insects, so they have 6 legs
  • Losing its stinger will cause a bee to die
  • Bees carry pollen on their hind legs in a pollen basket or corbicula
  • An average beehive can hold around 50,000 bees
  • Foragers must collect nectar from about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey
  • The average forager makes about 1/12 th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • The average per capita honey consumption in the US is 1.3 pounds
  • Honey bees use their front feet, tongue, jaw and antennae to taste with!
  • Bees have 2 pairs of wings
  • The principal form of communication among honey bees is through chemicals called pheromones
  • Bees are important because they pollinate approximately 130 agricultural crops in the US including fruit, fiber, nut, and vegetable crops. Bee pollination adds approximately 14 billion dollars annually to improved crop yield and quality.
  • The honey bee is one of the most scientifically studied creatures in the world after man!
  • The ‘Waggle Dance’ or ‘honey bee dance’ enables worker honey bees to inform her sisters about great locations of food and water, or a new home.
  • Honey bees account for nearly 80% of crop pollination in the United States of America,
  • Honey bees can be trained to detect illnesses in humans.
  • Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, this sense of smell is 50 times more powerful than a dog. They HATE the smell of human breath.
  • The honeybee is the official insect of the state of Maine.
  • Bees can’t see the color red. They do however see the ultraviolet color spectrum which many flowers produce and humans are unable to see.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Days of the Year

American Bee Journal

Honey Bee Net

Buzz about Bees

RVC Outdoors

 

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