Inside the secret life of bees

Posted by Julie Kailus on

You may know that honeybees, which are responsible for pollinating one in every three bites of food, are dying off because of colony collapse disorder. But it’s what you don’t know—the secret life of bees—that might motivate you to help save one of the world’s most vital insects.

There are biologists who have spent a lifetime studying the wild yet exceptionally ordered lives of honeybees. Bee behavior, especially inside a hive, is so complex and so hidden—and that’s what makes it fascinating. 

Honeybees can actually recognize human faces, a processing feature that scientists are considering in facial recognition technology.  

Up to 80,000 bees can colonize a single hive.

With walls meeting at an exact 120-degree angle, honeycombs are widely considered the most efficient structure in nature.

That buzzing sound is actually a bee’s four wings moving at 200 strokes per second.

Bees communicate through dance. A waggle means something different than spinning around.

Male bees (drones) sole mission in life is to mate with the queen. Most don’t ever get the chance, and the few that do die immediately after accomplishing their mission.

All female bees are workers. However, they spend a lifetime to produce one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.

Female honeybees with options change their brain chemistry before switching to a new job in the hive.

A hive of honeybees will fly the equivalent of three times around the earth to collect a pound of honey.

No honeybee hive smells the same. Each has a distinct odor to help members get back home.

Bee venom is being studied for benefits in treating rheumatoid arthritis and preventing HIV.

Coined “bee space,” three-eights of an inch is the exact distant bees prefer between each honeycomb.

Honey is the only food that contains every substance necessary to sustain life: water, minerals, vitamins and enzymes.

 

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