Meet the Honeybee family

Did you know honeybees tiny wings flap 230 times per second? Or that to produce just 1 kilo of honey the bees must travel a distance equal to 4 times around the earth to collect enough nectar?

Honeybees work together beeing a team, and like a social hierarchy each bee has its place. Honeybees also have a fascinating form of communication; a worker bee can explain the location of a flower to another through a waggle dance. Honeybees also work together to keep the honeycomb a constant temperature. They do this by huddling around the queen vibrating to keep warm during winter and cooling the hive with their wings in summer.


The Queen Bee

A future queen bee is selected as the egg is placed in a royal cell, built especially for her. As a larva she is fed a protein-rich secretion, known as royal jelly. The other worker bee larva are only fed limited amounts substituted with honey and pollen so only the queen sexually matures. About one week after emerging from her royal cell, the queen leaves the colony to mate with several drones in flight. She can lay up to 1500 eggs per day and stores multiple amounts of sperm which she uses to fertilise eggs throughout her life. A queen bee can live 3-4 years.


The worker bee’s

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These bees are female and perform the many duties required to sustain the busy hive. They fill many roles throughout their life from nursing the young and building the comb to protecting the hive and forging for nectar. These hard working bees may visit up to 2000 flowers a day. In their short life averaging 3-6 weeks a single bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.


The drone bee’s

A drone is the only male bee that is the product of an unfertilised egg. Drones have bigger eyes and lack stingers. They do not contribute to the daily chores of the colony and their life mission is to reproduce with a queen bee. Should a drone succeed in mating, he soon dies just as a worker bee would after using its stinger. During the winter when food becomes scarce drones are kicked out of hives and effectively starve to death.

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