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Sunday, 20 May 2012



The Ancient Egyptians kept their bees in tall, cylindrical hives; similar hives are still used in remote parts of Egypt today.

Golden bees were discovered in Tournai in the tomb of Childeric I (father of Clovis) who founded the Merovingian dynasty in 457. They were considered to be the oldest emblem of the sovereigns of France.

After the first settlers arrived in the New World, they found their orchards weren't producing very few apples because there were no honeybees to pollinate them. So in the late 1630s the first colony of honeybees were introduced to the Colony of Virginia from England. The North American Indians called these honeybees the "white man's flies."

Napoleon used the bee as a symbol of his empire after his coronation in 1804. He believed it stood for industry, efficiency and productivity.

Africanized hive bees, also called killer bees, are particularly aggressive. They are descended from African bees that were imported into Brazil in 1956. The imported bees escaped in 1957 and began to mate with European honeybees--the kind found in most hives.

Since 1957 killer bees have been moving steadily northward, and the first swarm entered the United States in October 1990.


The most familiar species is the bumblebee (see below), which is larger and stronger than the Honey bee.

Bumblebees have smelly feet and leave a scent on the flower they visit to tell other bees there is no other nectar left.

Bees have two separate stomachs; one for food and another just for nectar.

Bumblebees don’t have ears. They pick up vibrations through their bodies.

Bumblebees have hair on their eyes.

Bees cannot see the color red. To them it looks like black.


Bees’s wings flap 11,400 a minute, creating their buzz.

The flapping of the wings of 1,000 bees generates seven watts of heat.

Honeybees navigate by using the sun as a compass.

Bees can sense moisture changes in the air, so they put in extra work  enabling them to make it back to their hives before it rains.

Bees build up an electrical charge as they fly, meaning the pollen leaps from the plant onto them.

In one trip, a honey bee visits about 75 flowers.

Bees visit two million flowers and travel an average of 43 million miles to collect enough nectar to make just one pound of honey.

Bumblebees can carry as much as 91 percent of their body weight in nectar.

Bees fly at 15 mph and can reach up to 30 mph, visiting 50 to 100 flowers on each trip.

Bumblebees are abundant in high alpine regions and are capable of flying at altitudes higher than Mt. Everest. during research, two bees were able to fly at simulated altitudes of 29,525 feet inside a plexiglass chamber. The plexiglass kept breaking before the bees stopped flying.

The Australian blue-banded bee can headbang flowers up to 350 times a second to collect their pollen.

Two tablespoons of honey would be enough to fuel a bee’s entire flight around the world.


No male bee of any bee species can sting— a stinger is a modified version of a female bee's egg-laying organ, the ovipositor.

There is a species of stingless bee in the Amazon known as the "Barber Bee" that will cut your hair as a means of defense.

Although the sting of one Africanized bee is no more dangerous than that of a European honeybee, the Africanized bees release a chemical when they attack that signals other bees to come and join the attack.

Elephants are so afraid of bees that the mere sound of buzzing is enough to make an entire herd flee. Elephants even have a particular call to use to warn others of bees.

Killer bees may swarm over great distances in pursuit of a raider of their hives, and they have been known to attack in such numbers as to kill farm animals and humans.

A bee uses 22 muscles to sting someone.

Honey bee's will only die after stinging mammals with thick skin, but can freely sting other insects such a spiders.

Michael Smith, a PHD student of Cornell University in New York,  allowed bees to sting him 190 times to find out which part of the body hurt the most. Smith said the most painful area was the inside of his nostril.

In a typical year, nearly 100 American deaths are caused by bee stings.


Bumblebees all die at the end of the summer apart from new queens, which hibernate.

A queen bee continues to mate until she collects more than 70 million sperm from multiple males.

A productive queen bee can lay 3,000 eggs a day.

The Queen bee is too fat to fly after being pregnant, so when the worker bees want her to relocate the hive they chase her around the hive for week until she’s skinny enough to fly.

Queen bees only sting other Queen bees.

If a queen honey bee is removed from her hive, all the bees in the hive know she’s missing within 15 minutes.


The average temperature of a bee hive and the human body are the same.

In 1984, a backstage worker at the Paris opera established one of the most unusually sited beehives on the roof of the opera house. The "opera bees" gather their nectar as they visit flowers all over the city of Paris. The fruits of their labors are on sale in the souvenir shop of the opera.

The blue carpenter bee, is non-aggressive and semi-solitary. They do not build hives like honeybees but instead prefer to live inside dead wood. They live in Southeast Asia, India and Southern China.


Geoffrey Chaucer coined the simile "busy as a bee" in his Canterbury Tales  In the “Epilogue to The Merchant’s Tale,” he wrote: “In wommen been! for ay as bisy as bees.”

In 1984, honeybees constructed a honeycomb in zero gravity as part of an experiment on a space shuttle.

Most insects used in a film: 22 million bees in The Swarm.

Sherlock Holmes took up beekeeping when he retired.

In 2008, it was reported that Asian honeybees and European honeybees can understand each other through waggling dance movements, though they need to learn each other’s dialects.

Japanese Honeybees defend themselves against wasps by swarming them and "baking" them by vibrating their wings to 47 degrees Celsius. This is one degree above the wasp's maximum temperature.

A newly discovered species of bee in 2013 was named ‘Euglossa bazinga’ after a catchphrase from TV show The Big Bang Theory.

The scientific name for the bumblebee is bombus. Their old English name is Dumbledore.

Most bees buzz in the key of A, unless they are tired, when they buzz in the key of E.

Worker bees, the smallest in a colony are immature females. They live for 28 to 35 days.

Bees are directly responsible for the production of 70% of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that we consume on a daily basis.

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia,, Daily Mail.

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