7 Interesting Facts About Honeybees

Reader Contribution by Lindsay Williamson
article image

We all love honey and most of you have heard about the health benefits of pollen and propolis too but here are some facts that will help you to appreciate those products and their truly amazing makers even more.

1. Honeybees have five eyes. The two quite visible eyes you see are called complex eyes but what is much harder to see are the three little eyes that they have on the top of their head between their antennae called the ocelli. These three small eyes are used mainly as light sensors to help the bees navigate. Because bees can’t navigate at all without the sun, (if caught out after the sun goes down, they will have to wait until morning to find their way home to the hive) these little eyes are essential to the bees.

2. A single worker bee will produce only 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey in her entire life. Just one packet of honey represents the life’s work of 20 bees.

3. Honeybees fly well over 50,000 miles to produce only one pound of honey. That’s more mileage than it takes to circle the earth two times at the equator.

4. Male bees, called drones — distinguishable by their large size and proportionally larger eyes — have no stingers.

5. Honeybees have to consume eight pounds of honey to produce just one pound of wax.

6. A queen bee can live up to five years and will typically lay about 2,000 eggs a day in the busy season.

7. A queen bee will have only one mating session in her lifetime that will take place in flight, outside of the hive where she will mate with several different drones. During this flight and during swarming are the only times in a queens life that she will fly.

Lindsay Williamson is a certified beekeeper who owns and operates a small apiary called Backyard Honey with her partner Vance Lin. They specialize in completely natural, unfiltered, raw honey and honey products. You can contact her atlindzwilliamson@gmail.com.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.