Bee Good

This is from

I thought I would post some interesting facts about bees along with my thoughts on the movie.

I guess the word that comes to mind is “scary.” As if the planet had enough to worry about (granted that most of our problems are man made) but then to have something like the disappearance of bees be the thing that ends it all- didn’t see that one coming. Its almost a philosophical quandary: “Why are they leaving, where are they going?”

Honey Bees
bullet The honey bee has been around for 30 million years.
bullet It is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
bullet Honey bees are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators.
bullet They are insects with a scientific name – Apis mellifera.
bullet They have six legs, two eyes, and two wings, a nectar pouch, and a stomach.
bullet The honeybee’s wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus, making their distinctive buzz.
bullet A honey bee can fly for up to six miles and as fast as 15 miles per hour, hence, it would have to fly around 90,000 miles – three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.
bullet Honey bees are almost the only bees with hairy compound eyes.
bullet A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
bullet Honeybees can perceive movements that are separated by 1/300th of a second.  Humans can only sense movements separated by 1/50th of a second.  Were a bee to enter a cinema, it would be able to differentiate each individual movie frame being projected.
bullet Honeybees’ stingers have a barb which anchors the stinger in the victim’s body.  The bee leaves its stinger and venom pouch behind and soon dies from abdominal rupture.
bullet Honeybees communicate with one another by “dancing” so as to give the direction and distance of flowers.
bullet The average honey bee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
bullet Honey bees produce beeswax from eight paired glands on the underside of their abdomen.
bullet Honey bees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to be able to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.
bullet Honey bees are entirely herbivorous when they forage for nectar and pollen but can cannibalize their own brood when stressed.
bullet The honeybee is not born knowing how to make honey; the younger bees are taught by the more experienced ones.
Queen Bee
bullet The queen is the only sexually developed female in the hive.
bullet The queen bee lives for about two to three years and is the only bee that lays eggs.  She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 2500 eggs per day.
bullet A queen can lay her weight in eggs in one day and 200,000 eggs in a year.
bullet Fertilized eggs will become female offspring, while unfertilized eggs will become males.
bullet The queen may mate with up to 17 drones over a 1-2 day period of mating flights.
bullet The queen stores the sperm from these matings in her spermatheca, thus, she has a lifetime supply and never mates again.
bullet A queen bee can control the flow of sperm to fertilize an egg when she is about to lay an egg.  Honey bees have an unusual genetic sex determination system known as haplodiploidy.  Worker bees are produced from fertilized eggs and have a full (double) set of chromosomes.  The males, or drones, develop from unfertilized eggs and are thus haploid with only a single set of chromosomes.
Drone Bees
bullet The male honey bees are called drones, and they do no work at all, have no stinger, all they do is mating.
Worker Bees
bullet The workers are sexually undeveloped females.
bullet Worker honey bees live for about four weeks in the spring or summer but up to six weeks during the winter.
bullet The brain of a worker honey bee is about a cubic millimeter but has the densest neuropile tissue of any animal.
bullet In the course of her lifetime, a worker bee will produce 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey.
bullet Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened and they die once they sting.  Queens have a stinger, but don’t leave the hive to help defend it.
bullet It is estimated that 1100 honey bee stings are required to be fatal.
Bee Colony
bullet A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen.
bullet Each honey bee colony has a unique odor for members’ identification.
bullet The honeycomb is composed of hexagonal cells with walls that are only 2/1000 inch thick, but support 25 times their own weight.
bullet During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months.  They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.
Metallic Green Bee
bullet Metallic blue or green sweat bees are considered to be “solitary bees” (small colonies) as opposed to “social bees” (large colonies).
bullet They often build their nest in the soil.
bullet The female bees create chambers within the soil where they lay their eggs on the pollen balls.
bullet Sweat bees are known for their habit of licking sweat from people or animals.
bullet They gather pollen to provide for their offspring.
bullet Because they don’t have a large nest with a lot of offspring to defend, solitary bees tend to be less defensive than bees that live in larger groups (or “social bees”).
bullet Although the females are capable of stinging, they only do so if trapped or otherwise threatened.
bullet They may be considered to be beneficial because they pollinate crops and native plants.

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