Honey bees are as mysterious as the dark side of the moon!!!
The honey bee is the only insect on the planet earth that produces food consumed by human beings. These busy bees forage for pollen and nectar from different flowering plants.
#1. Why are honey bees so brilliantly astounding?
Honey bees are marvellous pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables. These little creatures possess a multiplex social organization with each other bearing a predetermined role in the hive. They have an exclusive communication scheme and cooperation technique. These minions are the best industrialists, working day-in and day-out to conserve the hive and to produce honey.
#2. The home of honey bees?
Honey bees migrated from the tropical areas of South Asia to Europe. Where they were eventually migrated to the Western hemisphere by the European colonists.
Honey bees are discoverable all over the world except in extremely cold climatic conditions. They’re fond of clement or tropical climates where there are plenty of flowers.
Honey bees dwell in gardens, orchards, meadows, woodlands or any other vicinity with abundant flowering plants. Hollow trees are covered with beehives. While domesticated bees reside in a pre-fab beehive constructed by the beekeepers.
#3. The quantity of honey a beehive can produce?
One particular hive has the potential to produce about 60lb (27kg) of honey, while an average hive can merely produce nearly 25lb (11kg) excess. Bees usually travel nearly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey, i.e., 1 ½ time globally!
#4. Species of honey bees?
Bees are a part of the “Apidae” family as per taxonomy. Bees are divided into 4,000 genera and nearly 25,000 species. An ordinary honey bee is Apis Mellifera, one of the seven species of the honey bee.
Notably, honey bees are meant to produce genuine, pure, and raw honey. Bees like carpenter bees, bumblebees do not produce honey.
Let’s have a glance over the scientific classification of the honey bee:
#5. How do bees produce honey?
Bees usually collect nectar- a sweet-sticky substance released by flowers and certain insects (honey dew), combining it with the enzymes from their mouth glands. This particular enzyme mix is stored in hexagonal wax honeycomb till the water content reduces up to 17%. After reaching this level, the cell is sealed with a thin layer of wax. This alarms the beekeeper that the honey is ready to be harvested. Nectar (sucrose) + bee enzyme (inverters) = glucose + fructose = honey.
An edible honeycomb was discovered in the Pharaoh’s tomb, as old as three thousand years.
#6. The life cycle of a honey bee?
Honey bees undergo a complete metamorphosis (holometabolous) cycle, i.e., egg, larval, and cocoon prior to emerging as an adult bee. Pre-adult bees are termed as ‘brood.’ The newborn adults and brood are fed by bees specializing in this task.
#7. Who is a Queen bee?
The Queen bee is actually the mother of the hive. She’s bigger in size than other bees and is meant to mate once in a lifetime. She stocks sufficient sperm (10-15 drones) who mate with her. She is bound to merely lay eggs (around 1,500 eggs) a day in a lifetime.
A fit and fine queen bee emit pheromones (bee perfume) that can be sensed by only bees present in the hive. These pheromone odours indicate to other bees that the queen is safe and sound in the hive.
They brew as queens as they’re fed with a protein-rich secretion called “Royal Jelly.” A hive is meant to have just one QUEEN. As “she is an exquisite chemist!”
#8. What is royal jelly?
Royal jelly is food served to the queen bee larvae. A white creamy substance, royal jelly is rich in protein and fatty acids. Produced by the mouth glands of young bees, a queen is fed merely a teaspoon of royal jelly.
Royal jelly seizes magnificent health properties. Raw and pure royal jelly is bland.
#9. Who are worker bees?
Female bees are known as worker bees born from fertilized eggs. The worker bees perform two tasks. The first half of their life is meant for serving the queen, brood, and the hive- the making of honeycombs and honey. They ventilate and protect the hive. The second half is usually working as ‘field bees,’ collecting nectar and pollen from flowers.
#10. Who are drones?
Male bees hatched from unfertilized eggs are known as drones. They’re bigger and they’re among a few drones who fertilize the queen. If there’s a shortage of food, worker bees will eliminate the drones from the hive.
#11. The life span of honey bees?
During summers, a worker bee can live up to 40 days. Since no young hoisted during winter, the workers who arrived in the autumn will flourish until the spring. A queen can survive up to 5 years.
#12. How do bees communicate?
The ‘bee dance!’ A foraging bee on discovering a source of nectar and pollen alarm others by performing a ‘dance.’
If the flowers rest within 30 yards, the bee is likely to perform a “round dance,” flying in a circular direction. If the flowers lie beyond 30 yards, the bee performs a “waggle dance.”
If the sun is straight over the head, and the food source is in front or behind the hive, the waggle queue will be straight up or straight down the honeycomb. The dancing angle is reciprocal to the sun.
#13. How is honeycomb made?
The younger ones make the beeswax required to construct the honeycomb. The wax is made in eight paired glands under the abdomen. They exude petite wax droplets, which petrify into flakes if exposed to air. The bees chew the wax flakes to soften the material for the honeycombs.
Hexagon-shaped cells are created. These particular cells are offered as home to the queen bee and the brood and rest are used to make and store honey.
#15. How do bees distribute their tasks?
|1-2 days||Polishes cells & keeps the brood warm|
|3-5 days||Serves food to aged larvae|
|6-11 days||Serves food to younger larvae|
|12-17 days||Produces wax, constructs comb, supplies food & undertake different tasks|
|18-21 days||Defends the hive entrance|
|22+ days||The flying from the hive begins, pollinates plants, collects pollen, water, and nectar.|
#16. Do bees ever fall prey to any diseases?
Yeah, bees are prone to a few diseases like AFB (American Foul Brood) and EFB (European Foul Brood). It’s treatable by destructing the colony. If left untreated, they can spread out to the entire apiary and harm surrounding beekeepers.
#17. Do bees sting?
Yes, worker bees do sting and it can be painful. The drones are stingless. Bees uses her sting to defend herself and if she does, she is likely to die afterwards. Queen bees also sting multiple times. But, queen bees rarely leave the hive.
It’s unlikely to die from a bee sting. If stung, eliminate the stinger using a fingernail or any other pointed stuff. Squeezing may result in causing more venom to be released into the skin.
#18. Do honey bees miss the honey that has been extracted from the hive?
Absolutely no. A bee colony has the potential to produce 2-3 times more honey if needed. The beekeeper can probably feed sugar syrup during autumn in addition to the loss of honey.
#19. What is raw honey?
Raw honey is unheated and unfiltered. It’s described as honey “as it exists in the beehive.” It’s extracted from the honeycombs and then filtered to eliminate any impurities like beeswax and dead bees.
Honey is the only Herculean food that contains all the essential substances to sustain life encompassing vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and water. A well-known antioxidant called “pinocembrin” is also found in honey- linked to improved brain functioning and health.
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