Top 10 important facts and information about honeybees

June 24 06:40 2014

Honey is one of the sweetest foods that exists. It’s perfect on almost anything, including cereal, bread, and crackers. We get our honey from those pesky insects that we can hear buzzing about and have to look out for so we don’t get stung. Honeybees are fascinating insects, especially since they can travel so quickly and they do a lot to help us in the environment.

Honeybees have been in the news lately because within the past several months, many honeybees have been dying due to pesticides and other factors. President Obama recently put together a task force to help figure out a plan to protect the bees and to ensure that they are able to survive and continue to help pollinate the plants and food that we eat.

Whether you know or don’t know a lot about honeybees, they are very fascinating insects. With all the work they do, it is important to be aware and understand their importance when it comes to sustaining the ecological system we live in. We have put together a top ten of different facts about bees, including how they are helpful to us human beings.

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10. Language

Of course humans have the ability to communicate through our mouths, dogs bark at each other, and cats hiss when another cat encroaches on their territory. But what about bees? In what is known as a ‘waggle dance,’ a scout bee will come back to the hive and dance for the other bees in order to give them the distance of the best foraging site for them to find pollen and nectar. They are able find these food sources at up to 150 meters.

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9. Odor

Bees are able to give information to their fellow hive members through the use of pheromones. These work for everything from controlling reproduction to possibly giving off a flower’s smell from their bodies so other bees know what kind of food source was present in the location another bee found the food from.

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8. Male honey bees

Males have an important job and that is to mate. The only thing is, this is their only job, as they die right after mating. Since these males, or drones as they are called, mate with the Queen and provide her with their sperm, they at least are able to aid in the process of creating more bees that will help to sustain the environment. The video below discusses female worker bees, but does talk about drone bees in the end.

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7. Honey production

During a worker bee’s lifetime, they will on average make 1/12th teaspoon of honey. When all honey bees work together to turn the nectar that is brought back by the worker bee into honey, they can make over 200 pounds of honey for a year. Interestingly enough, the bees will drink the nectar and regurgitate it in order for the other bees to eventually produce the honey. Those bees sure do a lot to provide us with tasty honey!

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6. Honey’s health benefits

Honey is one of the sweetest foods in the world and it is also great as a natural source for boosting our energy. Plus, honey gives us the extra boost we need in terms of performance and endurance, especially as athletes. They also have natural sugars that will allow us to feel energized and not as tired while exercising. Plus, according to the Benefits of Honey website, gives our immune systems a boost and has properties that can boost up antioxidant levels in our body’s cells.

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5. Biodiversity

Biodiversity is essential to helping the ecosystem be productive. Bees are key in helping to pollinate flowers, fruits, and vegetables. The Bees and Biodiversity project website talks about how a great percentage of plants are able to survive because of the work done by insects who will pollinate them, with the bees being the most important.

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4. Agriculture

Bees are very important to our agriculture because they help produce the crops that sustain fruits and vegetables we consume. The White House reportedly said that when it comes to species of insects such as both bees and butterflies, $24 billion of crop production occurs and bees alone help to produce $15 billion dollars in crops, according to ABC News 10.

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3. Health

The products that come from bees have been helpful in the practice of health for human beings. Honey has been used for both relieving a sore throat and even helping burn victims through antibiotic treatments. There are so many medicinal properties through honey and bee pollen has even been used to help treat allergies, as well as aiding in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.

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2. Pollination

Pollination is one of the most important jobs a bee has. When it comes to pollination, this is essentially a type of reproduction between plants. Nature Conservancy describes pollination as what happens when the grains from the pollen are transferred between the male germ cell of a plant to the female reproductive system in seed plants. This allows plants to reproduce and for crop plants to be able to fertilize. Bees aid in pollination since they will move from one plant to another and while the wind can carry some pollen, there are other types of pollen that need bees and other insects to carry them.

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1. Food source

One of the most important jobs a bee has is pollination because without pollination, there are some fruits that would not be able to develop, according to the National Honey Bee Day website. A third of all of our fruits and vegetables are produced thanks to the pollination done by honeybees. Plus, 50-80% of our food supply is affected thanks to the pollination from these bees. Without them, we may not get the quantity or quality of the foods that are necessary for our survival.



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Elizabeth Learned
Elizabeth Learned

At Large Senior Editor, Arizona State University alum, coffee addict and television crime drama fan

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