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

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!


 
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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.

Facts about honey bees

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

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! 

Facts about honey bees

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). Picture of a honeybee on a pink flower: Photograph by Manfredxy, Dreamstime. Picture of a honeybee on a purple flower: Photograph by Daniel Vincek, Dreamstime. Picture of a honeybee on a white background: Photograph by Daniel Vincek, Dreamstime.
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COMMENTS

  • Bella

  • ??????

    Amazing! It makes me want to protect bees even more!

  • lonel

    poor bees -90%

  • Joe

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  • Chris

    It was interesting

  • Chris

    It was interesting

  • Muhammad Samiullah

    Perfect and amazing information. A really deep experiment. I appreciate the keen interest of scientist

  • aarya singh

    wow!

  • Lacey

    Hi nice sight I luv it

  • james talbot

    this is an amazing book i love it so much its intresting.

  • isla shah

    woow

  • isla shah

    OMG this is such a good app to use i am teling all my friends about this

  • meg

    hi

  • MWYSO

    hi

  • Nathan

    I’m researching bees right now and they are cool!

  • Amelia B.

    Love this! So many facts!

  • TheMeganPlays

    i loveee bees! make sure to subscribe!

  • AYAAN PATEL

    HELLO NAT GEO KIDS WEBSITE

  • AYAAN PATEL

    THIS IS ANICE PLACE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ANY ANIMAL

  • cheetah and mouse

    poor honey bees. I have an idea, make posters about honey bees and how we need to save them.

  • American gold finch

    hello

  • hi

  • I think this is cool

  • Nice!

  • samantha

    i love bees im doing a speech this will help so much

  • iyuiyuiyuiyui

    c o o l

  • Sam

    Today me and mum saw a pinkish red bee or wasp and were wondering what it was.

  • livvie

    love it

  • jeellispow

    their they make delicious hunny.

  • samc

  • JoelO

    Cool!

  • nobody

    bees rule

  • save them

  • raging reptile

    save the bees

  • please save the bees

  • lazy lizard

    bees are seriously awesome ! we need to save them

  • Mayaar

    I like it

  • :)

  • hello

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  • Luca

  • like!

  • ruby

  • queenCookie

    WOAH! supaaa cool!

  • Bea

    Cool!!

  • tailaaplays

    THEY ARE CUTE ALL LOT FOREVER AND I AM DIEING

  • so cool

  • Charity. M

    Save the bees!

  • BROCK

    that was cool bruh

  • erec

    interesting

  • Harry

    Hi

  • elise

    So cool

  • msg card

    nice

  • Dr. Cheese

    Cool

  • Axolotl

    I love it!

  • i love learning about bees with this

  • E

  • lol

  • Sofia Leon

    this was pretty helpful for my teacher so I tried it out

  • kishh0302

    WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

  • i enjoyed this (a bit)

  • bob

    hi