Jun 26, 2019 | Updated: 11:46 PM EDT

Bee Facts That’ll Surprise You

May 20, 2019 10:51 AM EDT

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Bees
(Photo : Pixabay)

Did you know that there are about 25,000 different kinds of bee species in the world? This number is simply astonishing. Although most people think that bees are those small plump insects with black and yellow stripes on them, there are so many different types of bees that don't seem to fit in this criteria. In fact, the bumble bees are considered the most popular among the bee species only make up 1% of the total population. Not all bees make honey or live in a colony that only serves the queen bee. 

Over time, scientists have discovered how important bees are and the role they played in our ecoystem. In schools, we were taught about bees and the importance of their pollination. But how well do we really know bees? Here are a few facts about bees that will surprise you:

  • Some bees live for only six weeks while there are other types that can live for years. This is something new because people have always known that bees die when they sting someone, but the longevity of their life or their survival has never been talked about.
  • Only a few types of bees are social insects who live in colonies like ants. Most of them reach a stunning number of 100,000 living together in one hive. However, the majority of the bee species love to live alone in their own nest, usually beside each other.
  • Not all bees sting, especially the male ones. This is not because they are seen as smarter than the female bees, but because they technically don't come with a stinger. What they have in an endophallus. It is a penis-like instrument in their male body they help inject sperm on their partner. In contrast, female bees tend to sting to help protect themselves and their nests from intruders.
  • Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which means they have one serious sense of smell! They use this to communicate within the hive and to recognise different types of flowers when looking for food.

  • The honey created by these bees are not intended for human consumption. It is the bees "winter food" since food is scarce during the winter season. Rather flying out in the shivering cold, they get their energy from the honey they created to keep them warm.
  • Honey lasts an incredibly long time. An explorer who found a 2000 year old jar of honey in an Egyptian tomb said it tasted delicious!
  • Each honey bee plays a role in the colony. The vast majority of them come as workers while those who go out are considered the male drones. And there is one fertile mother they all call queen bee. She is the busiest in the summer months and lays up to 2500 eggs per day. 

What will the world be like without the bees? It's hard to imagine what would the world be without bees. It will be lifeless and dull without them. 

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