Honey bees are super-important pollinators for owers, fruits and vegetables. This means that they help other plants grow! Bees transfer pollen between the male and female parts, allowing plants to grow seeds and fruit.
Honey bees live in hives (or colonies). The members of the hive are divided into three types:
Queen: One queen runs the whole hive. Her job is to lay the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generaon of bees. The queen also produces chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees.
Workers: These are all female and their roles are to forage for food (pollen and nectar from owers), build and protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beang their wings. Workers are the only bees most people ever see ying around outside the hive.
Drones: These are the male bees, and their purpose is to mate with the new queen. Several hundred live in each hive during the spring and summer. But come winter, when the hive goes into survival mode, the drones are kicked out!
What are these buzzing bugs most famous for? Delicious honey! But did you know they produce honey as food stores for the hive during winter? Luckily for us, these ecient lile workers produce 2-3 me more honey than they need, so we get to enjoy the tasty treat, too!
If the queen bee dies, workers will create a new queen by selecng a young larva (the newly hatched baby insects) and feeding it a special food called “royal jelly“. This enables the larva to develop into a ferle queen.
Honey bees are fab yers. They y at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 mes per second!
Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which means they have one serious sense of smell! They use this to communicate within the hive and to recognize dierent types of owers when looking for food.
The average worker bee lives for just ve to six weeks. During this me, she’ll produce around a twelh of a teaspoon of honey.
The queen can live up to ve years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day!
SOLUTION We can all do our bit to support these brilliant bugs! Why not plant owers rich in nectar, such as lavender and bluebells, which will help bees nd the food they need? Also, be sure to choose local honey, too, which will support our honey bees and their beekeepers!