Calling all budding – or should we say buzz-ing – young naturalists! Join National Geographic Kids as we get the lowdown on one of our planet’s most fascinating insects in our ten facts about Honey bees!

 

Facts about honey bees

1. Honey bees are super-important pollinators for flowers, 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.

2. 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 generation of bees. The queen also produces chemicals that guide the behaviour of the other bees.

     Workers: these are all female and their roles are to forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beating their wings. Workers are the only bees most people ever see flying 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!
3.  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 efficient little workers produce 2-3 time more honey than they need, so we get to enjoy the tasty treat, too!

4. If the queen bee dies, workers will create a new queen by selecting 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 fertile queen.

5. Honey bees are fab flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second!

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6. 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 recognise different types of flowers when looking for food.

7. The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. During this time, she’ll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.

8. The queen can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day! 

9. Honey bees are also brilliant boogiers! To share information about the best food sources, they perform their ‘waggle dance’. When the worker returns to the hive, it moves in a figure-of-eight and waggles its body to indicate the direction of the food source. Cool, huh?

10. Sadly, over the past 15 years, colonies of bees have been disappearing, and the reason remains unknown. Referred to as ‘colony collapse disorder’, billions of Honey bees across the world are leaving their hives, never to return. In some regions, up to 90% of bees have disappeared!

 

We can all do our bit to support these brilliant bugs, gang! Why not plant flowers rich in nectar, such as lavender and bluebells, which will help bees find the food they need? Also, be sure to choose local British honey, too, which will support our Honey bees and their beekeepers!

Did you know that we have a FREE downloadable Buzz about Bees primary resource, all about these awesome insects? Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike!

 

What did you think of our facts about Honey bees? Let us know by leaving us a comment, below!

Images ⓒ Getty Images: Bees on honeycomb, (81154415)
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COMMENTS

  • nani

    wow, this helped me make fact book of animals and these facts are pretty interesting, thank you SOOOO much for these awsome, amazing and fantastic facts about bee's! By the way, this is my nickname not what in japanese and thanks!!!

  • nani

    woah!!

  • big bot

    bees = YAYYYYY

  • Gabrial

    Great

  • gobgob

    Awesome info, absolutely amazin!

  • Denise

    Ɩɛɬʂ ɬąƙɛ ąƈɬıơŋ ʟєṭṡ ṭѧҡє ѧċṭıȏṅ L▇e▇t▇s▇ t▇a▇k▇e▇ a▇c▇t▇i▇o▇n▇ L e t s T a k e A c t i o n

  • Teresa Harris

    We have seen the decline of honey bee’s this year as our garden suffered greatly . We had slow growth and very few blooms resulting in huge plants with little to no vegetables . We have not seen any honey bees this year.

  • Basma

    That information is going to help for my school project and bees

  • nevaeho@tkc.wa.edu.au

    hii

  • Tyler

    Cool

  • blakel16

    yay!!

  • wps

    pretect honey BEES!

  • Larzyparzy18

    Save the bees!

  • Billy

    Can bees make honey

  • A.A.Elatik

    cOOL

  • larzyparzy18

    save the bees!

  • Tyler

    Save the bee hives’s

  • Tyler

    Save the bees

  • land of lucas

    I love bees

  • Rory

    They're fascinating and I'm thankful for them.

  • Sephy

    Love

  • Sephy

    I love nature

  • Anna burns

    Thnx for the facts☺☺☺☺☺

  • Max

    Let’s take action

  • Mynameisthis

    Nice

  • Shark boy

    Wow

  • It help my with my assessmnts on Friday.

  • sashi

    wow i thought i knew so much about bees but really i knew barely anything

  • Mackenzie

    Good

  • sash

    cool

  • I AGREE!!

  • Tracy Discombe

    I have found a honey bee and it has a broken wing. How do I look after it?

  • Chad

    Nice!

  • dcrsquid

    this is realy cool

  • Harryeet

    cool

  • paige

    I love you app

  • Warrior cat

    This really helped my homework on bees! Who new Bees were so cool?!

  • Paige

    I love this i've learnt so much!!

  • Nisha

    Hi I hope I have a great comment

  • Susan

    We have honey. Red s doesn’t plant fibers for them!

  • Nortonics

    #15 - we now know. Quit putting that stuff on veggies, trees, and other fowlage. There is alternatives...

  • Donald Timpson

    Very interesting, they are a wonderful gift to us all, There is nothing like honey. A tsp every day, I do hope that the situation of hives disappearing/bees improves in the near future. Where would we be without the bee.

  • Tristan

    WOW! This is so cool!

  • David

    Bees are important for honey

  • ASH

    i'm a muslim , and there is a chapter in the holy QURAN titled ( the bees ) ? WHAT AMAZE ME IS : IT MENTIONS THE BEES AS FEMALES ? ! WHICH IS TRUE , BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE FEMALES . THIS IS KNOWN MORE THAN 1400 YEARS AGO ? !

  • Epic facts right there!!