Honey bee facts
- In summer, a flourishing colony will contain upwards of 50,000 bees in a single hive. However, in winter that number will drop to only one tenth that number.
- All worker honey bees are female and those that leave the hive to collect nectar are typically between 10 and 30 days old.
- Bees fly at about 15 feet above the ground at anything up to 15 miles per hour and possibly up to six miles from the hive in their search for nectar.
- On each foraging flight she will visit somewhere between 50 and 100 flowers before returning with the nectar gathered in her honey stomach.
- On returning to the hive she shares the nectar with other bees and dances to show where she found it. House bees store the nectar and reduce the water content to produce the honey we harvest.
- In her lifetime, one bee gathers enough nectar to make about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.
- That means one pound of honey represents the work of 25,000 bees flying 90,000 miles and visiting two million flowers.
- Barring mishaps, a worker bee literally works herself to death. Besides producing honey for the colony, worker bees are also providing a valuable pollination service to the nectar providers.
- Untainted honey can last for a very long time. Jars of honey buried in ancient Egyptian tombs have been found to be perfectly edible even after thousands of years.