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Honey bees (Apis in Latin) are a genus of insects in the order Hymenoptera, belonging to the family Apidae. All species except the common honey bee, which you can find here in Sweden, have an Asian distribution. However, it’s not only honey bees that produce honey, but primarily stingless bees. Honey bees, though, are the ones predominantly used in beekeeping to produce honey. But you probably already learned this in school and had a good grasp of it, so let’s jump to the more fun facts instead!

Honey bees have as many hairs as a fully grown squirrel…

A human has an average of about 100,000 strand of hair on their head. But a honey bee has roughly the same number of hairs on its body as a squirrel does—that is, about 3,000,000. That’s quite impressive considering their small size. [source]

Clever little creatures…

Never underestimate a honey bee! Japanese honey bees have a tendency to lure hornets into their beehives. Once they have a hornet inside, they signal each other to swarm the hornet, raising the temperature to over 47°C (116.6°F). Honey bees can tolerate the heat, but it’s worse for the hornet, which quite literally gets cooked alive. [source]

Never underestimate a honey bee! Japanese honey bees have a tendency to lure hornets into their beehives. Once they have a hornet inside, they signal each other to swarm the hornet, raising the temperature to over 47°C (116.6°F). Honey bees can tolerate the heat, but it’s worse for the hornet, which quite literally gets cooked alive.

How little honey an individual bee produces…

If you’re wondering why it takes so many honey bees for beekeepers, you’re in for a perhaps shockingly small answer: a single bee only produces about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey during its entire lifetime. Keep in mind that they only live an average of 122-152 days. [source]

And here’s how you can color your honey…

In France, a peculiar phenomenon occurred. Honey bees began producing honey in all sorts of strange colors red, blue, green. In the end, it had a simple explanation: they were fed M&M candy shells, which affected their honey production. The honey you see in the picture below is from honey bees that snacked on M&M shells. [source]

In France, a peculiar phenomenon occurred. Honey bees began producing honey in all sorts of strange colors — red, blue, green. In the end, it had a simple explanation: they were fed M&M candy shells, which affected their honey production. The honey you see in the picture below is from honey bees that snacked on M&M shells.

Quite literally a gigantic industry…

The total global value of global crops pollinated by honey bees is around 200 billion dollars. So, in other words, bees are not a small industry to be taken lightly. [source]

I might be reincarnated as a honey bee in my next life…

And speaking of s*x (we weren’t there yet, but now we are…), when two honey bees mate, the males’ genitals explode after mating. That’s truly going all-in. [source]

Not part of North America’s habitat…

Honey bees were not native to North American environments until the 1600s when they were imported from Europe. They were initially called “the white man’s flies”. That is to say, all the honey bees you see in the environment in North America originally descended from Europe. [source]

Honey bees were not native to North American environments until the 1600s when they were imported from Europe. They were initially called "the white man’s flies". That is to say, all the honey bees you see in the environment in North America originally descended from Europe.

Strict regulations for bee transportation…

If you’re thinking of transporting bees, you should carefully check the rules first. If you choose USPS as the carrier, you can only send one queen bee if eight worker bees are included with her. If that option is not available, forget about air transport and resort to traditional land transportation instead. [source]

Carlsberg has it better…

Honey bees have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to “drinking on the job” and will attack bees that return to the beehive intoxicated from consuming fermented beverages—meaning if they’ve been sipping on your alcohol in the summer heat. [source]

Honey bees have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to "drinking on the job" and will attack bees that return to the beehive intoxicated from consuming fermented beverages—meaning if they’ve been sipping on your alcohol in the summer heat.

And that’s how one becomes old, yes…

Honey bees will eliminate their current queen if she becomes too old or doesn’t produce enough eggs. This is done by hundreds of bees “hugging” her to death. Feel no pressure to produce, Queen. [source]


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