Interesting Bee Facts

July 30, 2009 | In: Animal facts for kids

There are almost 20,000 known species of bees in nine recognized families.

Bees can fly six to nine miles per hour loaded with pollen, and eight miles per hour when empty.

Bees cannot recognize the color red.

A queen can lay her weight in eggs in one day and 200,000 eggs in a year.

Honeybees have 2 compound eyes and 3 simple eyes, for a total of 5 eyes. The compound eyes have around 6,900 “facets”, giving them excellent eyesight.

Italian honey bees are usually gentle and harmless, German and African honey bees can display extremely aggressive behavior.

The queen bee can live for several years. Worker bees live for 6 weeks during the busy summer, and for 4-9 month during the winter months.

Some bees have no father — they grow from unfertilized eggs.This process of life emerging from an unfertilized egg is called parthenogenesis.
In the case of bees, parthenogenesis is good news for us — the worker bees who emerge from unfertilized eggs don’t sting.

The smallest bee is Trigona minima.
The largest bee in the world is Megachile pluto.

The honey bee isn’t a native bee; it was brought to the U.S. by colonists in the 1620s.

The noise of bees, mosquitoes and other buzzing insects is caused by rapidly moving their wings.

Bees frequently perform two different types of dances for each other!

When a bee discovers a source of nectar, it returns to the hive to alert the others of the food source. However, instead of leading the other bees back, it performs one of two dances to tell them exactly where the nectar is. Sources within 100 meters get a round dance, while sources farther away get a tail-wagging dance.

In the tail-wagging dance, the size of the loops is relative to the distance of the food source, and the vigorousness of the wagging represents the approximate amount of food available. In addition, the orientation of the dance tells the bees the precise direction of the food source.

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