Everyone knows and loves these fascinating creatures, because of their great ability to pollinate plants and flowers. People also know bees (Apis Mellifera) as producers of honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly, but very few really know about their captivating and complex social systems. Bees could be considered saviors of planet earth, because here are more honeybees than other kinds of bees and pollinating insects, making them the most important pollinator in our planet, and the highest contributor to our environment, agriculture, and food production.

These are known facts about bees for most people, but there is more than honey and pollination about these amazing insects, here I present you 50 fun and interesting facts that I am sure you didn’t suspect until now…

Fun Facts about Bees:

  1. All worker bees are female.
  2. The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
  3. The bee is the only social insect to be partially domesticated by humans.
  4. In the Stealthy Insect Sensor Project, scientists from Los Alamos, New Mexico have trained bees to recognize explosives.
  5. Scientific studies show that bees can recognize human faces.
  6. Bees don’t want to sting you because they die.
  7. Bees produce their distinctive buzz by stroking their wings 11,400 times per minute.
  8. Bees sleep! Some will sleep up to 8 hours. The forager bees sleep at night similar to us and use this time to store long term memory.
  9. Bees “Waggle Dance” to tell other bees of food source, direction and distance! We know that they calculate the angle of the sun and know the earth is round based on these dances.
  10. Bees are mostly attracted to white and yellow flowers.
  11. Bees love blue color and cluster plants like lavender and rosemary.
  12. A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
  13. Honey bees fly up to six miles, and at 15 miles per hour.
  14. A bee produces a teaspoon of honey (about 5 grams) in her lifetime.
  15. To produce a kilogram of honey, bees fly the equivalent of three times around the world in air miles.
  16. Male bees (drones) have bigger eyes to help them find the Queen Bee.
  17. Male bees live only for mating with the queen. If there is a shortage of food in the hive, the workers kick their lazy, gigolo butts out.
  18. The drones die after they mate from a ruptured abdomen. Sex detaches their endophallus, which gets stuck inside the queen.
  19. Bees mate high in the sky. Afterwards the male bee loses his reproductive organs and dies.
  20. The Queen may mate with up to 17 drones over a 1-2 day period of mating.
  21. The Queen continues to mate, until she collects more than 70 million sperm from multiple males.
  22. The Queen bee lives approximately for 2-3 years.
  23. A newly hatched queen immediately kills all other hatched and unhatched queens in the hive.
  24. A Queen Bee can produce 2,000 eggs a day, equal to her own weight.
  25. The Queen bee’s fertilized eggs become females and unfertilized eggs become males, with the help of pheromones.
  26. Queen bee 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.
  27. A Queen Bee is constantly fed and groomed by the beehive’s worker bees.
  28. A bee colony contains 40,000 to 60,000 bees during the late spring or early summer.
  29. Worker bees live for about 4 weeks in the Spring or Summer but up to 6 months during the Winter.
  30. Worker bees have strictly regimented roles, including that of undertakers who drag their dead siblings from the hive.
  31. Honey bees produce beeswax from eight paired glands on the underside of their abdomen.
  32. Honey bees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to be able to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.
  33. Bees maintain a temperature of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in their central brood nest, regardless of the outside temperature.
  34. It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.
  35. There are over 25,000 different species of bees, 4000 genera or types and further divided by 9 families, found on every continent except Antarctica.
  36. Melittosphex burmensis is the oldest-known species of bees. It was discovered in 2006 preserved in a piece of amber, in a mine in northern Myanmar, and is believed to date back to the Cretaceous Period, 100 million years ago.
  37. Honey is the only food that never spoils.
  38. The color and flavor of honey is determined by the type of flower the nectar comes from.
  39. Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.
  40. Fermented honey, known as Mead, is the most ancient fermented beverage, it was widely produced and drank in the Middle Age castles.
  41. The term “honey moon” originated with the Norse practice of consuming large quantities of Mead during the first month of a marriage.
  42. Honey has been shown to have many health benefits both when eaten and when applied to the skin. The darker the honey the better.
  43. The term “bee’s knees” was coined by American cartoonist Tad Dorgan, who was also responsible for “the cat’s pajamas,” “the flea’s eyebrows,” “the canary’s tusks,” and (apropos of nothing) “Yes, we have no bananas.”
  44. During World War I, honey was used to treat the wounds of soldiers because it attracts and absorbs moisture, making it a valuable healing agent.
  45. Bumblebees can estimate time intervals. Researchers have found that the insects extend their tongues in tandem with the rhythm of a sweet reward. This helps when looking for nectar.
  46. The process of making honey begins in the bees‘ second stomach(her honey stomach). When gathering nectar in the field it is in this stomach that the nectar is mixed with an enzyme called invertase.
  47. On the April 1984 Challenger flight, 3,300 bees housed in a special but confining box, adapted perfectly to zero gravity and built a nearly normal comb. But they didn’t go to the toilet. Since bees excrete only outside the hive, they held it in for seven days, keeping the hive immaculate clean.
  48. According to an old wives’ tale, a bee entering your house means a visitor is on his way, and if you kill the bee, the visitor won’t be a pleasant one.
  49. After he had pioneered the laws of genetics with pea plants, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel bred a strain of hybrid bees. Unfortunately, they were so vicious he had to kill them.
  50. The queen was known as the king until the late 1660s, when Dutch scientist Jan Swammerdam dissected the hive’s big bee and discovered ovaries.