Bee Facts

• Honey bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey.

• The average bee will make around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

• Female bees do all the work. Known as worker bees they live for about six weeks in the summer. Autumn born workers may live for six months.

• There are different roles for worker bees including as cleaner bees, brood care bees and guard bees. Only the most senior are allowed out to forage.

• Male bees (drones) spend their time eating honey until a new queen is ready to mate. Once a drone has mated with a queen, which happens in flight, it dies.

• A queen lives for up to five years and is the only bee that lays eggs. During the summer she may lay up to 2500 eggs per day.

• A mated queen will leave her hive when new queens are successfully and safely incubating in special queen cells. The worker bees will kill and replace a queen who is not laying sufficiently.

• Honey bees feed the queen exclusively with royal jelly, and assign court bees to care for her.

• A colony might contain 80,000 bees or more in summer.

• The bees buzz is made by their wings which beat 11,400 times per minute.

• A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.

• Bees carry nectar in a special part of the gut, and pollen on leg hairs, referred to as ‘pollen sacks’.

• A honey bee will only sting if threatened. The consequence of stinging is that the bee dies. Drones have no stinger.

• The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.

• Honey includes enzymes, vitamins and minerals, including pinocembrin – an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.