Bee Pollination

14
May/07
0

Bee Pollination

10 Facts on Bees

You've probably never thought much about honey bees. They're those little creatures that make the sticky sweet that's so good in a cup of tea or drizzled over ice cream. You probably don't know any facts of bees either. Bees are amazing little creatures!

Here are ten facts of bees to entertain and inform you:

1. The honey bee has been around for millions of years. Scientists have found cave paintings from as early as 7,000 BC that show how honey was collected from trees and rocks. The first known cultivated hives appeared as early as 2,000 BC in China and Egypt.

2. Before sugarcane was introduced as a sweetener, the only sweetener known to man was honey. Honey is the only food that includes everything necessary to sustain life. Honey contains enzymes, minerals, vitamins, water, and an antioxidant called pinocembrin, which is associated with the improved functioning of the brain. The bee is the only insect that produces food which is eaten by man.

3. Honey doesn't spoil. Honey that is thousands of years old is still edible.

4. Honey bees have 170 "odorant receptors." These odorant receptors allow them to recognize their family members, communicate socially within a hive, and recognize and differentiate hundreds of different flowers and which have pollen or nectar.

5. The honey bee's buzz is produced by its wings. The wings move amazingly fast – about 200 beats per second. Honeybees can fly for as far as six miles without resting and at a speed of around 15 mph.  

6. Modern beekeeping is based on ancient Greek beekeeping! Beekeepers build hives that have bars of wood in them that are the same distance apart as those that the Greeks used in their wicker hives. The bars are 9.525 mm, or .25 - .375 inches, apart. This keeps bees from building honey combs between them so that beekeepers (apiarists) can remove the combs from the hives.

7. One colony of bees consists of between 20,000 and 60,000 bees. They must fly around 90,000 miles, or a distance that is equivalent to three times around the earth, to produce 1 kg of honey. To fly one of those orbits, a bee must consume an ounce of honey.

8. Bees are remarkably smart. They show a huge capacity for learning and remembering and can make difficult calculations as to how far they've travelled and where to forage for pollen and nectar.

9. Honey bees are in big trouble. The threat to the beekeeping industry and to bees, poses a universal threat to the survival of many, many plants that are an important part of the earth's environment.

There are an awful lot of pests and diseases that have been plaguing bees in most places in the world. Pesticides have also taken a terrible toll on the world's bee population. There are even pesticides being used in hives to kill bee pests which are causing sterile drones and therefore, fewer queens and queens that are short-lived. The disappearance of honeybees is now known as Colony Collapse Disorder.

10. Bees play an enormous part in the world's food supply. In the United States alone, bees pollinate as much as 30% of the country's food supply. Other countries that are heavily affected are Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and countries in Latin America and Asia. If something is not done about bee problems soon, it could lead to anything from a very different diet for future inhabitants of the earth, to the total end to the earth's food supply. Education and funding are needed now to battle the problems that are besetting the honeybees of the world.

About the Author

My name is Nancy Ketner and I have been fascinated by Bees for as I can remember. I started Beekeeper Central as a free resource for others who wish to explore Beekeeping as a hobby or small business venture so people can get the most enjoyment they can from Honey Bees. Do come on over to Beekeepercentral.com to get your FREE mini e-course and find out more facinating facts of bees

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