Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association

Some Interesting Honeybee Facts

10/20/2017 12:59 PM | Emily Erickson TOFGA President (Administrator)

By David Wall

Most recognize that honeybees are critical to our food supply, but there's a great deal about them that are not widely known.  An example is that these insects, while not flying around during winter, are quite busy maintaining the hive and supporting the queen. During cold weather, they buzz their wings to generate heat to keep the hive temperature above 40°.

Honeybees can actually recognize humans.  The literature suggests that in a bee keeper family,  they can tell the difference between a bee keeper that provides them with sugar water and one who doesn't.

While store-bought honey can have long term storage issues, hive honey never goes bad due to its very low moisture content and overall chemical makeup.  Scientist have found jars of honey  over 5,500 years old.  The honey inside was still edible, but the report doesn't say whether any of those scientists actually ate some of that honey!!!

At full bore, a honeybee can reach a speed of 20 MPH, but their average speed is 15 MPH. They need such speed in order to forage out as far as seven miles foraging for nectar.  For all their work, each honeybee will only produce about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her short lifetime.  Some 55,000 miles will be flown just to produce a single pound of honey.  The entire female worker force (20,000+) has to work all day long 24/7 to produce enough honey (60-100 lbs.) for the beekeeper to take some and still leave the hive with enough honey to last through the winter to next spring.

While bee stings are painful, the venom contains properties that can provide temporary relief from symptoms of arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other ailments.  The venom apparently blocks inflammation.  Many regularly look forward to the sting and inflammation relief.

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