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Cool Facts About Bees

Although not everyone may think so, bees are insects that have many important purposes. Bees help to pollinate flowers, which is how they can bloom and grow more.

They also make honey, which animals and people love to eat as well as make many things with. Continue reading to find out more information about bees.

honey bee

What are the characteristics of a bee?

Bees belong to the insect family which means that they have six legs and three parts to their body, which are the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.

They have short, thick bodies that are covered with hair and can be anywhere from the size of a grain of rice all the way to the length of your big finger.

Yellow Potter Wasp

Bees are different from wasps because they have small combs on their arms to help them clean their antennae and they also have unique wings.

Worker bees are hardworking. They collect nectar by going to many flowers in a day. They make multiple collection trips in a day. In a single collection trip, a bee often visits 50 to 100 flowers. 

Where do bees live?

There are over 20,000 different species of bees that can be found in almost every place in the entire world, besides Antarctica.

Bees need flowers in order to survive, so they can be found in any habitat that has flowering plants.

During the winter, they cluster together to conserve warmth and live off the pollen and stored honey. A single bee hive can accommodate 50,000 bees. 

What do bees eat?

Bees mainly eat the nectar and pollen from flowers. Nectar is a liquid that comes from flowers which is very sugary and gives the bees energy.

Pollen is a type of powder that comes from flowers and is used to feed bee babies, which are called larvae.

Bee hunting for nectar

Lifespan of bees

Worker bees have short life, no longer than 6 weeks. During it’s lifetime the bee produces twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.

The queen bee on the other hand lives up to 5 years. During the summer months a single queen bee lays 2000 to 2500 eggs a day.

Do bees have any predators?

There are a few predators that will hunt bees, and these include some birds, reptiles, small mammals, and even other insects like dragonflies.

Large mammals, like bears, are known for completely destroying bees’ hives in order to eat the honey that is inside.

How does a bee protect itself?

One of the first ways that bees protect themselves is by building their hive in a very secret spot.

By building their hive in a place that is hard to find – or really hard to reach – they are protecting themselves against animals that might want to try to eat them.

gathering honey from bees
Beekeeper examining honeycomb in garden

Another way that bees will defend themselves is by stinging. Ouch!

Female bees have a stinger on the end of their body and they will use it to sting something that might be threatening it.

The stinger comes out of the bee’s body and stays in the victim, releasing new venom while also signaling to other bees to come and help.

bee sting

While bee stings can be painful, they aren’t serious unless you are allergic to them.

Quick Bee Facts

Bees have six legs and three parts to their body.

There are over 20,000 different types of bees.

Bees have as many as 5 eyes in all – 2 compound eyes and 3 simple eyes.


Bees eat nectar and pollen from flowers.

They have a few predators including birds, reptiles, small mammals, and dragonflies.

Bees protect themselves by building their hives in hidden places and using their stinger. They play an important part in our environment.

A worker bee dies after it stings most mammals as they have barbed stingers. However they do survive after stinging insects. A queen bee has smooth stingers and can survive stinging mammals and insects.

dragonfly eyes

For example, they are one of the main ways that flowers become pollinated, which helps them to grow in the first place!

Bees also give us honey and many other products that have honey in them. As long as we don’t bug them, they won’t bug us!

Honey is actually sweeter than sugar by 25%.

queen bee and bees
Queen bee with other bees

Usually there is just the one queen in a hive. If the queen dies, the worker bees can make a new fertile queen by feeding one of the worker females a special food that we call “royal jelly”.

A hive of bees must collectively travel 50,000 miles to produce one pound of honey.

In a year, a single hive can produce 50 to 100 pounds of honey.

The antioxidant pinocembrin is only found in honey.

Except for red, bees can see all colors. This, combined with their sense of smell, allows them to locate the flowers from which they collect pollen.

Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which indicates they have a keen sense of smell.

Bee Eggs

A bee egg takes 21 days to develop into an adult bee.

Honey bees are excellent flyers. They fly at about 15 miles per hour and beat their wings extremely fast. How fast? Well, up to 200 times per second

There are over 200,000 beekeepers in the United States.

When collecting honey or relocating a hive, beekeepers use smoke to calm the bees.

Bees have jointed legs without knees.

The drone bees are all male, rest are all females.

Honey bees do not really sleep at night. For the most part, they lie motionless and conserve energy.

drone bee
A lone drone bee

Drones cannot sting. They die after mating with a Queen bee. Their life’s sole purpose is to fertilize the queen.

A worker bee can carry up to 80% of its body weight of pollen and nectar.

A honey bee has two stomachs, one for storing nectar and one for storing food that it eats.

Members of a hive can identify each other by their unique scent. Bees of other hives would have a different scent.


Animals and Insects