- Bees possess a total of five eyes.
- Being classified as insects, bees have six legs.
- The term used for male bees inside the hive is drones.
Little, intriguing insects called honey bees are crucial to pollinating plants and making honey. These small organisms have a sophisticated social structure, and researchers have long studied their actions and routines.
Take our Honey Bee Quiz to test your knowledge if you believe you know a lot about honey bees or if you want to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
Seven Really Cool Facts About Honey Bees
Honeybees are amazing insects that are crucial to the sustainability of our planet. In addition to making honey, bees are essential for pollinating the plants and flowers that support our food supply. Honey bees are extraordinarily complex insects with distinct behaviors and talents, despite their small size.
With that said, here are seven cool facts about honey bees:
- Bees possess five eyes.
- Being insects, they have six legs.
- Drones are the male bees found in the hive.
- Bees can fly at a speed of approximately 20 miles per hour.
- Worker bees are the female bees in the hive, excluding the queen.
- The queen bee can lay as many as 2,000 eggs in a day.
- If a bee loses its stinger, it will result in its death.
What is the Life Cycle of a Honey Bee?
Honeybees go through four phases in their life cycle: eggs, larva, pupa, and adult. The length of the entire procedure varies between the many honey bee species. The queen needs roughly 16 days, the worker bees 18 to 22 days, and the drones 24 days.
Honey bee workers have a life expectancy of five to seven weeks. A worker spends the first few weeks of their life working inside the hive, while the final few weeks are spent hunting for food and collecting pollen or nectar.
Additionally, the social insects honey bee (Apis mellifera) shows strong caste-specific differences in longevity. Honey bee workers typically survive 15–38 days in the summer and 150–200 days in the winter, compared to the average lifespan of 1-2 years for queen honey bees.
Evolution and Origins of the Honey Bee
Bees originated from predatory wasps that existed 120 million years ago. Similar to bees, these wasps constructed and protected their nests, and procured food for their offspring. However, unlike most bees that rely on flowers for sustenance, their wasp forebears were meat-eaters.
Bees are believed to have originated from hunting wasps that developed a liking for honey and opted to go vegetarian. Despite a lack of fossil evidence, bees likely evolved on Earth between 146 and 74 million years ago, at the same time as flowering plants.
Said to have originated in southeast Asia, it is debatable whether the western honeybee species (Apis mellifera) descended from an Asian predecessor or one that had already traveled to Africa.