Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Amazing Honey Bee Friends

I grow 5 bushes of lavender flowers all around Sand Village Farm. I love their scent and color. I know my honey bee friends love them as well,  so I want them to visit often. The sound of buzzing bees are music to my ears in the hot summer sun. They are amazing little creatures. Let me tell you just how amazing they are:

Honey bees have 6 legs, 2 compound eyes made up of thousands of tiny lenses (one on each side of the head), 3 simple eyes on the top of the head, 2 pairs of wings, a nectar pouch, and a stomach.

Honey bees have 170 odorant receptors, compared with only 62 in fruit flies and 79 in mosquitoes. Their exceptional olfactory abilities include kin recognition signals, social communication within the hive, and odor recognition for finding food. Their sense of smell was so precise that it could differentiate hundreds of different floral varieties and tell whether a flower carried pollen or nectar from meters away.

The honey bee's wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour. The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.

A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen. Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work. The queen bee can live up to 5 years and is the only bee that lays eggs. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 2500 eggs per day. Click here to learn more about the Honey Bee Life Cycle. During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.

Check out the short youtube video I create for more photos of my honey bee friends.

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