Sure, you may know that bees pollinate our crops, but do you really understand our favorite flying insect? Bees are like onions, in that, they have so many layers to uncover (and also they can make you cry like a baby).
While every creature is unique in its own way, bees are kind of on a different level. Their importance to the world is consistently overlooked and they keep the natural world functioning the way it should. These insane facts might prevent you from swatting the next bee you see, or at least, that’s the hope.
Drop The Beats
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Bee Fact: The bees’ buzz noise is created from their wings which beat over 11,400 times per minute.
For comparison sake, a hummingbird’s wings flap around 5000 times per minute which isn’t even half of what a bee can do. Most people think that the buzzing sound is a result of a buzz coming from the mouth which isn’t true at all.
Oh, Well That’s Intere-STING
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Bee Fact: Only worker bees are actually capable of stinging and they’ll only do it if they feel threatened, Once they sting something it’s a death sentence because they lose their stingers and explode.
It’s interesting to note that even though a queen bee has a stinger, they never use them because they don’t actually leave the hive. It takes over 1,000 bee stings to kill a person, that would mean 1,000 bees!
Find out the role of the male bees just ahead. Safe to say it’s not flattering.
So You Think You Can Dance?
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Bee Fact: Honey bees like to communicate with each other through dance. Once the scout bees find a new nectar or pollen source they return to the hive and perform a dance.
Humans need to start incorporating this style of communication more. Imagine if instead of an argument through words, it was just a series of over-dramatic dance moves. Life would be so much easier and more enjoyable.
Okay, This Is A Game Changer
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Bee Fact: Honey bees are able to make out facial features just like humans can. They’ll recognize different parts of the face and are able to piece them together. The entire process is called “configular processing”.
This begs the question as to whether in the eyes of a bee, one is considered more attractive than another based on desired features. Is there a certain ear shape that is preferred?
Drones Get The Short End Of Every Stick
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Bee Fact: A drone bee is a male bee which has a sole purpose of mating with the queen. The drones aren’t smart, and the Queen will mate until she has more than 70 million sperm from the multiple males.
It’s also said that if there’s a shortage of food in the hive, they immediately start to kick out the drone bees because they’re not as helpful as the worker bees. So long gigolos.
Find out what type of hybrid killer bees are coming up.
Well, That’s A Terrifying Myth
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Bee Fact: Bees have been the center of many myths throughout history. It was once understood that if a bee entered your house it meant that you’d be getting a human visitor shortly after. If you killed the bee then that person wouldn’t be someone you want to see. Safe to say many bees way back when were probably invited to stay for dinner out of fear.
Yes, this is just a myth and we’re thankful for that. Can you imagine having to be hospitable to every bee inside your house? Green tea with extra honey for the guest, perhaps?
The Adaptability Transcends Planet Earth
A picture taken on June 26, 2017 in Lille, northern France shows a bee on a flower, as French Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition Nicolas Hulot said that he will not lift the bans to use a type of pesticides that are thought to be responsible for bees’ high mortality rate and poisoning. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP / Getty Images
Bee Fact: To truly get a sense of the adaptability of bees, there was a 1984 Challenger flight that saw 3,300 of them housed in a confining box with zero gravity. They adapted perfectly and built a normal comb.
The only thing they didn’t do, which was abnormal, was that they didn’t poop the entire time, because they don’t do that in their hive. They held it in for seven days but the scientists said that the space hive was very clean.
Wait, So You’re Telling Me They’re Real?
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Bee Fact: “Killer bees” are a hybrid between the African honey bee and the European honey bee. They were artificially created in the 1950s to increase honey production in Brazil.
They were supposed to be contained but 26 swarms of them escaped and they’ve since spread as far as the US. They are more aggressive and react quicker to disturbances than any other honey bee. They’ve been responsible for over 1,000 human deaths. They’ve also killed many horses and other large animals.
How big is the size of a bee’s brain? It might surprise you.
“Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work” – Rihanna
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Bee Fact: Worker bees get the short end of the stick. Not only do they have to put in all of the efforts outside of the hive, but they also have to clean and feed the baby bees, take care of the queen, repair the honeycombs, and fan the hive to ensure it’s a comfortable temperature.
For reference sake, the Queen bee has to birth babies and that’s about it. Although, the amount of babies is quite impressive.
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Bee Fact: Only the Queen is able to lay eggs even though worker bees are all female as well. She communicates with the hive through pheromones, which is her special scent. She can lay up to 1,500 eggs per day when she needs to.
This makes the Duggar family from 19 Kids and Counting look like she’s never had a baby. Mrs. Duggar pops one out every year and that seems like a lot, Queen bees can pop over 1,500 of them out in a day.
They’re Nerds, They’re Literally Nerds
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Bee fact: A bee has a brain the size of a sesame seed which may seem small, but in comparison to their body, it’s decently sized. It’s an oval shape and has an insane capacity to store information.
It’s capable of being able to make complex calculations about distance traveled and foraging efficiency. Don’t be surprised if you walk into a high school physics or math classroom to find a honey bee as your teacher. They’ll adapt to anything we throw their way.
Honestly, we have a lot to thank these bees for because they literally give us life.
Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are
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Bee Fact: There are 16,000 species of bees but only about five percent of those are seen. The most common of the “social bees” are the honey bees and as many as 80,000 can be found in a hive.
That’s a lot of species of bees, and it begs the question about where these other bee species are. We need them to come out of hiding because there’s a serious bee crisis happening. Come on, guys.
The Male Bee Dies After Doin’ It
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Bee Fact: When a male honey bee climaxes he immediately dies.
It’s crazy to think that the male bee actually dies the first and only time he makes sweet, sweet love to a female bee, but that’s the truth. The bee’s parts actually explode after the deed is done, and he’s dead. Not so nice for him.
Sharing Is Caring
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Bee Fact: When a bee finds a good source of nectar, it will fly back to the hive and make sure that its friends know where it is. Bees are constantly sharing vital information about their surrounding environment.
Imagine if every human was this considerate to their friends. How many times will a friend go to the mall and find a good sale on clothing, leave immediately to tell you about it and come back with you so you can enjoy it too? Never.
So I Guess Bees Aren’t That Bad After All
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Bee Fact: Bees are the only insect in the world that produces a substance that humans can eat. That substance is, of course, honey.
Honey comes in many different colors and flavors. The flower from which the nectar was found will determine how the honey is going to taste.
Are the evolutionary assets that bees have enough?
More People Get Injured By Rain Drops
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Bee Facts: In a recent study done in Australia over a 13 year period, the country saw 42,000 hospitalizations due to stings and bites and over 33% of those were from bees and wasps (the others being from snakes and jellyfish etc). Of those, 64 people died from their stings (27 of them being from bees).
Humans can withstand almost 10 bites per pound on their body, so it’s almost impossible to die from a bee sting attack unless you’re allergic.
Beyonce? That You?
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Bee Facts: A newly hatched Queen will immediately search the hive and murder any other hatched and unhatched Queens in sight.
If we think that humans are petty, I guess we haven’t dived into the pettiness of Queen bees. No, I’m not talking about Beyonce (the true Queen Bey) even though we are well aware she can be petty too. The Queen will literally just murder it’s competition because she wants all of the attention.
This Is A Serious Problem
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Bee Fact: Honey bees are in some serious danger of getting killed off. If that happens we’re in for a world of hurt and will probably have to eat grass for the rest of our lives. The good news, if there is any, is that bees have incredible evolutionary assets that have helped them survive for over a million years already.
We’re crossing our fingers that these assets can somehow keep the bees alive. But something drastic needs to happen soon because this isn’t cool.
Short, And Sweet — Literally
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Bee Fact: The average life of a honey bee during the working season is about three to six weeks. Meanwhile, the lifespan of a gueen can get up to five years in length.
So, not only does the gueen not have to do anything other than deliver babies, she also gets to live a lot longer than the worker bees. Even in bee-world, the working class get screwed over.
It’s Not Worth It, It’s Really Not Worth It
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Bee Fact: On average, a bee will only generate one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
I’m very glad that we have officially determined that bees are slackers. One-twelfth of a teaspoon? REALLY? Paris Hilton did more to contribute to her father’s empire then any bee has contributed to their hive. All of that work and nothing to show for it? I’m surprised more bees haven’t defected to living the wasp life because they don’t have to do anything.
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