bees on honeycomb

17 Interesting Facts About Bees

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Bees are incredible creatures that play a vital role in plant pollination. There are over 20,000 known species of bees around the world, all serving the important function of transferring pollen between flowering plants. Beyond their essential place in nature, bees are fascinating insects with unique biology and behaviors. Read on to discover 17 interesting facts about bees that may surprise you!

Interesting Facts About Bees

  1. Bees have been around for a very long time. Bees first appeared during the Cretaceous period, meaning these industrious insects have been around for over 100 million years!
  2. Not all bees live in hives. While the honey bee is the most well-known bee, 70% of bees nest underground or in small groups without producing honey or wax. These include mason bees, leafcutter bees, and carpenter bees.
  3. Bees have five eyes. Honey bees have two large compound eyes, each composed of thousands of tiny lenses, plus three simple eyes located on top of their head to detect light.
  4. They “dance” to communicate. Scout bees perform a special “waggle dance” to inform other bees in the hive about the direction, distance, and quality of flower patches and new nesting sites.
  5. Bees have specialized jobs. Worker honey bees take on a variety of roles in the hive as they age, including cell cleaner, nurse bee, comb builder, guard bee, grocer bee, house bee, wax producer, undertaker bee, scout bee, and forager bee.
  6. Queens can live for years. Queen bees have the longest lifespan of all bees at 2-5 years. They dedicate their long lives to laying up to 2,000 eggs per day!
  7. Bees sometimes sleep in flowers. Exhausted forager bees occasionally fall asleep in flowers overnight if they wander farther from the hive than they can return.
  8. Bees beat their wings 230 times per second. That explains the famous buzz! This rapid wing beating allows bees to fly at 15 miles per hour.
  9. They have hairy eyes. Bees have nearly 6,000 hairs on each eye that help detect wind direction, air speed, and pollution levels.
  10. Bees can get busier with age. Older forager bees will collect up to 10 times more pollen than younger bees.
  11. Bees produce beeswax from eight glands. Worker bees secrete beeswax from wax glands on the underside of their abdomen. The wax is used to build the honeycomb.
  12. Bees carry an electrostatic charge. Flying bees can pick up a positive electrical charge from flying, which helps pollen grains stick to their hairy bodies through static electricity.
  13. They extend their tongues to sip nectar. A honey bee’s tongue is half an inch long and has a spoon-like structure for drinking liquid.
  14. Bees have smelly feet! Bees’ feet contain glands that secrete oils carrying chemical signals used to identify the hive entrance or mark food sources.
  15. Bees never sleep. There is always activity in a bee colony since some bees work around the clock. Individual bees may take micro-naps that last just a few minutes.
  16. Bees can recognize human faces. Researchers have found that bees can be trained to recognize certain human faces associated with drops of sugary water.
  17. A bee’s brain is the size of a sesame seed. Despite having tiny brains, bees display impressive intelligence, memory, navigation, communication, and learning skills.


I hope you enjoyed these 17 fascinating bee facts! From their complex social organization to unique anatomy allowing them to carry pollen and sip nectar, bees are truly extraordinary creatures. We should appreciate the critical role that bees play in plant reproduction and our food supply. Next time you see a bee buzzing around, remember just how vital these insects are to sustaining life on Earth!

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