Honeybees are pretty amazing. From what they do for the environment, to their delicious honey they produce in their hives- they are pretty fascinating insects. Let’s cover some facts you might not have known when it comes to the honeybee!
A hive can contain up to 60,000 bees
You read that right, the term “worker bee” comes straight from the hives as there is a lot of work to be done to keep a hive running. From foraging to taking care of the babies- every honeybee has a job.
One honeybee produces 1/12th a teaspoon of honey in its life
Wow. That seems like very little for how much work a honeybee does! You aren’t wrong, but they don’t live very long lives either. The lifetime of a worker bee is about five to six weeks total.
Queen bees only mate one time
Queen bees live interesting lives. Only a week after they emerge from their cell, she will have only 20 days to mate. If the mating is successful, she will never have to mate again for the rest of her life.
A queen bee can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day
That is a lot of laying! Queen bees work around the clock doing their sole purpose of replenishing the hive. They will lay about 2,000 eggs a day which will equal about 1,000,000 in their lifetime! Once their egg production starts to slow down, the hive will choose a new queen that they will cater to in order to keep the hive going.
Male honeybees, or drones, only serve one purpose
Male bees only purpose is to mate with the queen bee. A week after emerging from their cells, they will be ready to mate. Once they have mated with the queen, they will die.
A hive stays a constant 93 degrees all year around
The bees keep the hive in working order by keeping the temperature at a balmy 93 degrees. As the temperatures decrease around the hive, the workers will form a tight bundle around it to keep the temperature up and preserve the hive and the queen.
The hive decides the type of bees the eggs will turn into
You might have thought that the queen would decide what type of eggs she lays, but it is actually the decision of the hive. The type of bee that is produced depends on what the larvae are fed.
Only the queen bee uses the “restroom” in the hive
Yup, bees are “bee-yond” neat when it comes to their hives. Bees will leave the hive to defecate leaving only the queen bee to use the restroom in the hive. Some bees follow her around to clean it up as soon as it happens!