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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BEES

Interesting facts about bees

Some of you may have noticed we've been a touch absent lately! 
We’ve had a busy couple of weeks with me (Bec), and my two girls travelling to Collombatti to visit the farm during the school holidays. Shortly after we left, Mum (aka Sue) left for Thailand for two weeks on a well deserved holiday with girlfriends. 

But never fear, we are still here working away and without further ado here’s our next blog post.

 

Getting to know bees

As we are now full swing into spring, I'd like to share a few interesting facts about an insect that has recently been voted the most important species on the earth (and with very good reason).... the humble bee!

 

Photo by Scott Hogan on Unsplash

 

Buzzing Around

Did you know that the buzzing sound that bees make is actually from their wings beating? 

Bee wings can beat up to 11,400 times per minute! 

They are amazing flyers and with wings like theirs how could they not be? Bees can fly at a top speed of up to 25kms an hour!

 

Photo by Pascal Beyer on Unsplash

 

Food For Thought

Bees are also the only insects known to produce food that we can eat. 

Bees have been making honey the exact same way for over 150 million years. 

Historically, honey has also been used as wound dressings for minor cuts, grazes and burns as honey has great antiseptic properties.

 

Worker bees 

All the worker bees are females. They collect the pollen and nectar, build and protect the hive, they clean and circulate the air by beating their wings and work together to maintain the hive at a constant temperature. 

 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

 

Drones  

The male bees are called drones and their main purpose is to breed. 

 There can be a large number of drones in the hive at any given time, unless it's winter when they are kicked out to conserve resources. 

 

 

Royal Descendants 

Although the queen bee can live up to 5 years, she can produce up to 2,500 eggs per day in the summer. 

When the queen bee dies, the worker bees will create a new queen by choosing a newly hatched larvae & feeding it "Royal Jelly" to make her fertile.

 

 

A Keen Sense Of Smell

Bees have 170 odorant receptors and use their antennae to smell. They use these receptors to communicate within the hive. 

Not only can the workers recognise different types of flowers and other pollen rich foods with their antennae, but drones use their odorant receptors to detect the queen bee from up to 60 metres away. 

 

Photo by Walter Sturn on Unsplash

 

Do A Little Dance

When bees find a great source of pollen or nectar, they go back to the hive and communicate this to all the other bees by doing a special dance. This dance is called “The Waggle Dance”, they move in a series of figure-eights and waggle their bodies to show which direction to go for the best food source.

 

Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

 

Declining Numbers

It's not hard to see why these amazing little creatures were named the most important species in the world, and if we don’t start to look after them our whole ecosystem will collapse.

Bees are our best pollinators, with 1 out of 3 of the foods we eat being pollinated by bees.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, colonies of bees have been disappearing and we really don't understand why. It's referred to as "colony collapse disorder", with billions of bees around the world leaving their hives for no apparent reason, never to return. In some areas up to 90% of bees have disappeared.

We can help encourage the bees to stay by planting flowers rich in nectar, like lavender, honey myrtle and native rosemary to name just a few.  We can also help to protect bees by not using toxic pesticides in or around the home and garden.

2 comments

  • I’ve just started keeping bees so I’m reading up all about them, thank you for sharing :)

    Debra
  • Love this! Bees are just so amazing and we should be doing everything to protect them.

    Janie

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