Honey bees are as unique as the honey they produce. As pollinators, honey bees play a crucial role in maintaining the health of ecosystems and the abundance of food crops worldwide. As insects, their complex social structure and their extraordinary navigational abilities continue to astonish and inspire us. 

Let’s celebrate the amazing honey bee on World Bee Day with 10 fun facts:

  1. Honey Bee Species: There are more than 20,000 species of bees in the world, but only seven produce honey. The Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most common species used for honey production in the United States.
  2. Life Cycle: The lifecycle of a honey bee consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult bee.
  3. Social Insects: Honey bees are social insects that live in colonies with one queen, or mom bee, thousands of female worker bees and a few hundred male drone bees.
  4. Lifespan: A queen bee can live up to three to five years. Worker bees typically live for about 4-6 weeks during the summer but can survive for several months during the winter when they are not as active. Drone bees live until they mate with an outside queen bee, which kills them instantly. Learn more about the different types of honey bees!
  5. Waggle Dance: Honey bees communicate the location of food sources, such as nectar and pollen, to other members of the colony through a “waggle dance” performed inside the hive. 
  6. Flight Speed: Honey bees can fly at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour and can travel several miles from their hive in search of food.
  7. Mighty Navigators: Honey bees have a remarkable ability to navigate. They use the position of the sun and landmarks to not only find nectar and pollen, but also to find their way back to the hive.
  8. Pollination: Honey bees are important pollinators, responsible for pollinating a wide variety of flowering plants, including many agricultural crops. They are responsible for not only producing honey but pollinating 35% of the foods we eat!
  9. Bee Byproducts: Honey bees produce honey but also several valuable products including beeswax, royal jelly and propolis.
  10. How Much Honey: When it is all said and done, a honey bee will make a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her life.

These facts only scratch the surface of the fascinating world of honey bees! Check out the rest of honeysaveshives.com for more honey bee information and how you can help save honey bee hives.

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