Bees have a vital role in our ecosystem; they’re essential pollinators aiding the growth of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Despite their vitality, we have a lot to learn about our buzzy friends. The world of bees is fascinating, whether it’s their complex social hierarchy, the sweet golden nectar they produce, or their flying capabilities. Let’s explore the five most fascinating facts to learn about bees.
1. Bees Can Fly Faster than Cars
Let’s skip the flying car theory and ride on a bee! Unbelievably, bees can fly significantly faster than cars in congested city traffic. These tiny insects fly at a whopping 20mph compared to the average U.S. city speed limit of 13mph. In addition, bees can fly up to six miles without rest, making them efficient pollinators even on the hottest days—making them more efficient travelers than humans. If only it were possible to use bees as mounts!
2. Bees Have a Unique Language
Bees have distinct languages—but we don’t have enough advanced information to thoroughly study it. They use a language called the “bee dance” to communicate with their families. The waggle dance communicates the location of nectar and pollen to their hive mates. The direction of the dance tells the angle from the sun, and the length indicates the distance to travel. The bees use their sense of smell to find the correct flower type.
3. Bees Recognize Human faces
Like crows, bees use their tiny brains to remember faces. Bees memorize and familiarize themselves with distinctive facial features like eyes and hair. This skill helps when beekeepers work with their hive, enabling the bees to recognize their keeper and reduce aggression.
4. The Antennae of Bees Can Detect Electric Fields
Bees use their antennae to detect electrical fields. It turns out that flowers generate weak electrical charges that bees use to determine if a flower contains nectar or pollen. Bees rely on this unique sensory skill to identify the right flowers to pollinate.
5. Bees are Faultlessly Hygienic
One of the lesser known yet fascinating facts about bees is their impeccable hygiene. Bees meticulously manage their hives to ensure a clean and disease-free environment. They have a group of worker bees, also called “undertaker bees,” tasked with removing dead or sick bees from the hive to prevent diseases from spreading. Also, bees groom themselves as a natural defense to protect the queen and other hive dwellers from illness, boost their health and protect them from disease. Bees also use propolis, a resinous substance collected from tree buds, to sanitize their home. This extraordinary level of hygiene is critical to the survival of the entire colony.
These are our five favorite fascinating facts to learn about bees, and now that you know them, we hope you stick around to learn more! Go outside, look at some flowers, and be even more thankful for the bees’ contributions to our ecology. These buzzing insects possess incredible physical abilities and have unique characteristics, so studying bees should continue to fascinate and inspire us to learn more about the world around us.