20 Facts About Bees
Here are our top 20 fascinating facts about bees:
- Bees are essential for food production. It is estimated that the total value of crops pollinated by insects is £510m per year in the UK. Read More.
- Bees use the “waggle dance” to teach each other about the direction and location of food sources that can be up to 750 metres away. Read More.
- Apples, almonds, onions, lemons, cherries, carrots and many more of our favourite foods depend on pollination by bees. Read More.
- There are 267 different species of bees in the UK. Read More.
- In the UK, many species of bee are declining, with two bumblebee species known to be extinct. (Breeze, T. D., Roberts, S., and Potts, S. (2012) ‘The Decline of England’s Bees: Policy review and recommendations’, Friends of the Earth and University of Reading), available online Read More.
- There are around 20.000 species of bees worldwide. Read More.
- Bees actually have four wings. They hook them together to form one big pair when flying and then unhook them easily when not flying. The four wings are also a way of telling bees from hoverflies, which only have two wings. Read More.
- Honey bees and their hives are often used as metaphors for human societies, because they are well organised and can have up to 60,000 bees living together in one hive. Read More.
- Honey bee hives have one queen, hundreds of male drones and thousands of female workers cooperating. Read More.
- Bumblebees are social and they live together in small nests ruled by a queen. Read More.
- The bumblebee used to be known as the humblebee - because when it flies, it hums (of course!). The word 'bumblebee' gained popularity in the early 20th century, and by 1959, the humble humblebee had been lost. Read More.
- Did you know that Professor Dumbledore’s name in Harry Potter comes from the Cornish word for bumble bee? Read More.
- Bees are not the only pollinators, they get help from butterflies, moths, flies, wasps and beetles, as well as some birds and mammals. Read More.
- Bees collect pollen, which is fed to the growing larvae back in the hive and used to stock nests. Read More.
- An average hive produces around 11kg – around 24 jars - of honey per season. Read More.
- Honey bees only sting when they sense danger or to protect the colony. A worker bee dies after it has stung. Read More.
- Solitary bees like to live on their own. They do not produce honey and they don’t have a queen either. Read More.
- Solitary bees are even more efficient pollinators than honey bees. Just one red mason bee can pollinate as much as 120 worker honey bees. Read More.
- Most solitary bees nest in the ground, they are the mining bees. Some species, such as mason and leafcutter bees nest above ground. They are known as cavity nesting bees and like to live in walls, dead wood or cavities in trees. They are also most likely to move into a bee hotel. Read More.
- Bees are able to extract heavy metals and pollutants when producing honey, so they can actually create very clean honey in the city. Read More.
By farming organically and turning our gardens into biologically diverse spaces, we can create habitats in which pollinators will thrive. This summer, the Soil Association and Pukka are celebrating the power of nature and we’d love you to join us by getting involved in our #BeeOrganic campaign.Find Out More
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