10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT BEES
1. BEES DANCE
Bees perform “waggle dances” to share information. Their dance moves communicate where to find a source of nectar and how far away it is.
2. QUEENS ARE GIVEN THE ROYAL TREATMENT
Diet determines which bees become queens. Larvae destined to become queens are fed a sugar-rich substance known as royal jelly that ensures they grow larger and stronger than ordinary worker bees. Worker bee larvae, on the other hand, are fed a mixture of nectar and pollen.
3. MAY THE FORCE BEE WITH YOU
Bees are truly extraordinary creatures! In addition to its scent, they can also sense a flower’s electric field. When a bee lands on a flower, the flower’s electrical charge changes for about 100 seconds, which is just long enough to let other bees in the area know that the nectar from that particular flower has been collected.
4. A FEMALE WORKFORCE
All honeybee workers are female. They forage for food, build hives, and make up about 99% of a bee colony’s population.
5. INVISIBLE COLOURS
Bees can see ultraviolet colours and patterns invisible to the human eye, so the flowers in your garden look very different from a bee’s perspective!
6. INDISPENSABLE POLLINATORS
It hardly bears thinking about. Without bees, we wouldn’t just lose out on a third of our food, we wouldn’t be able to grow cotton either, one of Gudrun Sjöden’s favourite natural fabrics.
7. AS BUSY AS A BEE
Bees work unbelievably hard. A single bee has to visit two million flowers to produce 500 grammes of honey.
8. WHAT’S BUZZING?
Bees beat their wings about 200 times a second, which generates the characteristic buzzing sound.
9. HONEYBEES CLIMB THE CAREER LADDER
Early in their careers, worker bees have to make do with such menial tasks as cleaning cells in the hive, but as they mature, they progress to the more important role of foraging for nectar and pollen in the field.
10. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN BEE
A queen bee can grow up to 42% bigger than a worker bee and live 10 to 50 times longer, sometimes to the ripe old age of 4.