Bees and Wasps - Interesting Facts

Common expressions about Bees and Wasps:

  • It’s the bee’s knee’s.
  • The roach coach.
  • Sweet as honey.
  • You are my honey.
  • Got a bee in your bonnet?
  • To have “bee stung” lips
  • Busy as a bee.
  • Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! (Thank you Mohammed Ali)
  • Making a beeline to the spot.
  • Attracted like a bee to honey
  • Like wasps to a barbecue
  • She’s the Queen Bee (the person in charge)
  • Honeybees may make 10,000,000 trips to gather enough nectar to make a single pound of honey. The total distance traveled by all the bees to create this much honey may equal twice the distance around the world. Their activity for this single pound of honey means a total distance flown of 55,000 miles and over 2,000,000 flowers visited
  • Honeybee workers move to different jobs as they grow older:
    • Week #1 – clean the hive
    • Week #2 – feed the larvae
    • Week #3 – do repair work on the honeycomb cells
    • Week #4 – guard the hive
    • Week #5 and beyond – collect pollen and nectar from flowers
  • The term “honeymoon” comes from the Middle Ages, when a newly married couple was provided with enough honey wine to last them for the first month of their new life together.
  • The term “honeymoon” comes from the Middle Ages, when a newly married couple was provided with enough honey wine to last them for the first month of their new life together.
  • When searching for food sources a honeybee may travel up to 60 miles in a single day.
  • Only female bees and wasps can sting. Males do not have the egg-laying “ovipositor” that is modified as the stinger on female insects.
  • Honeybees have 2 compound eyes and 3 simple eyes, for a total of 5 eyes. The compound eyes have around 6,900 “facets”, giving them excellent eyesight.
  • The wings of honeybees beat over 11,000 cycles per minute, but their average flying speed is only around 15 miles per hour.
  • Wasps feed on sweet liquids, and some that have been feeding on fermenting juice have been observed, eventually, to get drunk and pass out.
  • Honey Bees are the designated “state insect” in: Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin
  • The State of Utah has the motto “The Beehive State, however the top producers of honey are traditionally California, Florida, and South Dakota. China produces more honey than any other country in the world.
  • The average American eats a little over 1 pound of honey each year.
  • Honeybees do not actually “make” honey, but instead they convert the nectar they gather from flowers to the thicker honey, by constantly regurgitating it and allowing it to dehydrate.
  • The honeybee is not native to the United States. It is believed to have been introduced to this continent by some of the first European settlers. Native Americans referred to the honeybee as the “White Man’s Fly”.
  • Apitherapy is the use of honeybee venom and honeybee products to treat people medicinally. It includes the use of honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and the venom from the bee sting. Two of the most common uses of bee venom are for treating the debilitating symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Many ants, bees and wasps are equipped with stingers, for offense or defense. All of them, except for the honeybee, are capable of stinging repeatedly. However, the honeybee can sting mammals only once, as its barbed stinger gets stuck in mammal skin and cannot be removed. It tears from the body and the bee dies shortly afterward. Bees are capable, though, of stinging other insects more than once, as their barbed stinger is able to pull free from these animals.
  • A queen bee can lay her weight in eggs each day, laying 1 per minute, all day and all night, for a total of 1,500 eggs in 24 hours, and 200,000 in a year. One reason for this is survival, for if the workers have detected a pause in their Queen’s egg laying they will immediately begin the process of creating a replacement.
  • The Queen Bee receives about 90,000,000 sperm from mating with a male, but she controls how they are used. Not only will she store about one tenth of them in a separate “spermatheca”, but by creating fertilized or unfertilized eggs the queen can determine whether the eggs develop to female or male bees.
  • All of the workers in the colony are females, so the vast majority of the eggs are fertilized to become females. However, when males are needed the Queen lays unfertilized eggs.
  • A single female yellowjacket begins a new colony each spring, and if all goes well she may have over 25,000 of her daughters working in the expanded colony by the end of the summer.
  • Bees and wasps communicate with chemicals, one of which makes them angry. If a wasp stings you for getting too close to its colony it may emit “attack” signals that cause other members of its colony to attack you as well.
  • The Africanized Honey Bee (a.k.a. “killer bee”) have been known to chase people for over a quarter of a mile once they have gotten excited and aggressive.

Source: BugBattalion.com/CT