Friday, May 13, 2011

10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Honey Bees

Ahhhh, there is nothing quite like a little bit of coffee and chocolate to brighten the day!

As I sip and nibble, delighting in the heady aroma and sweet, savory flavors, my mind always wanders to the birds and the bees. Why? Because both chocolate and coffee are two of the 1000+ plants that depend on visits from the birds and the bees (and other pollinators) to help spread the love, or in their case, pollen, from flower to flower.

I love wandering through my garden and hearing the buzz of the visiting bees. But bees have many more talents that just pollinating our plants.

Here is a list of 10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Honey Bees, which I collected from the Health Benefits of Honey Blog:

1) Bees tongues can help sniff out bombs – A company called Inscentinel Ltd. has developed Vapor Detection Instrumentation, which is scientific speak for a couple of bees taped to a piece of foam. The bees stick out their tongues when they smell an odor they have been trained to detect.

2) Honey bees can recognize faces – the honey bee, with a brain barely bigger than a pin head, can remember human faces for days after seeing them.

3) Bees are the only insects that produce edible food for humans (did you know that honey is actually bee puke? Ugh)

4) Some working bees can lift (in addition to their own bodies) 100% of their body weight.

5) Bees have been around (100 million years) much longer than humans (7 million years).

6) The queen bee lives up to 40 times longer than a worker bee.

7) The ONLY purpose in life, for the male bee, is to "service" the queen bee — and then he dies.

8) 3400 honey bees were taken on a NASA space flight.

9) Honey bees only use their stinger on vertebrates. When the bees are up against an invertebrate (such as a wasp) the worker bees will cluster around the insect and literally flex their muscles until the resulting heat kills the intruder. And if the heat doesn’t kill them, the lack of oxygen surely will.

10) The origin of the word honeymoon – In days of old, newlyweds were given a month’s worth of mead – a honey based booze – which they were to drink daily. The tradition was believed to promote matrimonial happiness and pregnancy… both things alcohol is very good at. We’ve been honeymooning ever since.

Stop back by on Monday when we'll have a post on How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden


  1. In the photo, that's not a honeybee on that gaillardia. But you probably knew that. ;~)

  2. No, I really didn't know that! Thanks for pointing that out. There is so much I want to learn and my brain only holds so much.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Website by Water Words That Work LLC