Honey Bee

Honey Bee Facts
Size 0.2 - 0.6 inch (5 - 15 mm) (wingspan)
Speed Up to 18.6 mph (30 km/h)
Weight Unknown
Lifespan Ca. 6 weeks
Food Nectar, pollen
Predators Birds, rodents, reptiles, insects
Habitat Worldwide
Order Hymenoptera
Family Apidae
Subfamily Apinae
Scientific name Apis mellifera
Characteristics Form colonies, yellow-brown body
Why Do Bees Produce Honey?

Because it tastes delicious with milk! Ok ... because they like it themselves? Maybe. Actually, they need it to survive the winter.

Wasps, hornets and bumble bees die in winter – not just a few of them, but the entire colony with the exception of the queen, which spends the winter in a deep sleep.

Queen bees cannot survive the winter like this, they have to feed on the sweet honey to keep their body temperature. Thank you, little pollen collectors!

Honey Bee Honey Bee - Photo: szefei/Shutterstock

Enemies? Put Them Into the Sauna!

Bees do not stand a chance against hornets? Honey bees actually can give them hell, quite literally.

If a spying hornet is detected near a beehive, several dozen bees encircle and form a kind of sphere around it. They fiercely flap their wings to increase the temperature inside the sphere to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius). This is too much for the hornet. It dies and cannot return to its colony to inform the other hornets about the location of the beehive.

Some honey bees can even survive temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) for a short while.

One Bee Is Like The Other? No Way!

There are more than 20,000 species of bees worldwide, but only four of them produce honey.

Honey Bee Honey Bee - Photo: lkordela/Shutterstock

„Dance your cares away“: How Bees Communicate

Just imagine: You find a reservoir of absolutely delicious nectar and you are only able to tale a little bit of it home. You return to your hive and want to tell your buddies about it. But how? You are a bee. And bees can’t talk.

Nevertheless they are able to inform their friends where they can find the stuff. They start to dance! They run straight forward for a short distance while shaking their behinds. After this they dance a half-circle, alternately clockwise and anti-clockwise.

How long they shake their behinds and in what angle they groove tells the others about the direction and distance of the “honey-pot’s” location.

The other bees imitate them, try to learn the choreography and to memorize the smell of the pollen before hitting the trail.

Honey Bee Honey Bee - Photo: Yuttasak Jannarong/Shutterstock

Honey Bee Honey Bee - Photo: Daniel Prudek/Shutterstock

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