5 Interesting Facts about Bees

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016| Post by Honey Acres|0 comment(s)

There’s a lot going on in the secret world of a hive. Bees are hardworking, determined little creatures that have their quirks about them just like we do as humans. Besides being a source of any number of sweet honey treats, they have a real place in our economy that’s pretty important.

Bees on a beehive

#1: Only female bees have stingers

Bees are divided up into three categories, the queen, the workers and the drone. The stinger is really an evolved ovipositor, which is what the bee uses to lay eggs. Since all worker bees are exclusively female and infertile, the stinger is mainly used for defense. Honey bees, however, are usually too busy flying between the hive and searching for nectar to bother with their stinger unless they’re being aggravated.

#2: Bees have the secret to reverse aging

All bees in the colony have specific jobs that their brains are wired to perform competently. Everyone from drones to the queen has a duty; from foraging to repair and nursing to undertaking. The forager is built for adventure while the undertaker has a strange compulsion to take care of the dead bees. But a crucial factor in their competence at their jobs is the ability to change their brain chemistry, so a bee can actually have multiple jobs over its lifetime.

This is the key to reverse aging, because while an older bee doesn’t normally do the job typical of a younger bee, sometimes it must and in order to do well, the bee can stop the brain aging process and reverse it.

#3: Bees can get a caffeine boost

Just like how you might find a study hall full of students downing caffeine to stay awake and get more done, bees can source caffeine from flowers that are intentionally luring them in and become hyper busy. It’s a survival mechanism for the flower because the caffeinated bee is more likely to remember this special nectar and make a return visit. But just like the cramming students, bees will continue seeking their caffeine source long after it’s lost its usefulness and end up forgoing other, energy-boosting plants.

#4: Honey is their life’s work

When you squeeze honey out of a bottle, you might not understand the significance of each drop when it’s so readily available from a store. Over the lifetime of an average bee, she’ll only produce about 1/12 of a teaspoon.

Honey is stored away for the bees when nectar is scarce, but certain species of bees produce way more than can be consumed by the hive and it’s this excess that beekeepers harvest and refine.

#5: Bees keep our (food) economy going

Bees are such a crucial part of our society. They provide jobs the world over, for farmers to grocery employees and beekeepers to prep cooks. Bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of American crops. That’s a lot of food that they keep stocked in our groceries and on our shelves, and it’s a loss that we can’t afford as an economy. Supporting bees and their honey is a great way to do your part in keeping our food sources rich!

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