About Bees

manuka honey bees

Gather By Bee Facts

How many honeybees does it take to produce one 250g jar of honey? 

The number of honeybees needed to produce one 250g jar of honey can vary based on several factors, including the size of the colony, the type of flowers available for the bees to collect nectar from, and the efficiency of the colony in producing and storing honey. However, on average, it is estimated that it takes between 60,000 and 100,000 honeybees working together to produce one kilogram of honey. This means that it would take between 15,000 and 25,000 honeybees to produce a 250g jar of honey. 
 honey bee flying

How many eyes does a honeybee have and why? 

A honeybee has two compound eyes, which consist of multiple lenses and photoreceptor cells, and three simple eyes located on the top of its head. The compound eyes allow the bee to perceive the world in a unique way, giving them a wide field of view and the ability to see ultraviolet light. The simple eyes are used to detect changes in light intensity and direction, allowing the bees to navigate and find their way back to the hive. 
bee hexagons in shape of large hexagon

How do honeybees navigate to a specific flower and how does it communicate this to the other worker bees? 

Honeybees navigate to a specific flower using a combination of visual cues, such as the color, shape, and pattern of the flower, as well as their sense of smell. They communicate the location of the flower to other worker bees through a dance, known as the "waggle dance." The waggle dance involves a specific pattern of movements that communicate the direction and distance of the flower relative to the sun and the colony. Other worker bees observe the dance and use the information to find the flower and bring back nectar and pollen to the colony. 

bee flying

How can a worker bee remember communication from another worker bee through the waggle dance? 

A worker bee communicates the location of a food source to other worker bees through a dance called the "waggle dance". The dance involves the bee moving in a figure-eight pattern, with the angle and duration of the waggle indicating the direction and distance of the food source relative to the sun. Other worker bees can interpret this information and use it to find the food source. The bee performing the dance is believed to store the information in its short-term memory, allowing it to recall and communicate the location to other bees. Research suggests that this process of communication through the waggle dance is a highly efficient way for bees to share information and find food. 


bee hexagon in shape of large hexagons

Describe in geometric terms a worker bee waggle dance? 

The worker bee's waggle dance is a series of movements that help communicate the location of a food source, usually nectar or pollen, to other worker bees. The dance consists of a figure-eight pattern, performed in the air, with a waggle run followed by a return trip. The angle of the waggle run with respect to vertical and the duration of the dance convey information about the distance and direction of the food source relative to the sun. The more the angle is tilted to the right or left, the more the food source is located in that direction. The duration of the waggle run and the number of waggles give an indication of the distance of the food source. These geometric patterns help other worker bees understand the direction and distance of the food source and make their way to it. 

bee flying

Can honeybees navigate with 100% cloud cover? 

Honeybees have been observed to have some difficulty navigating with 100% cloud cover, as they use the sun as a reference point to guide their foraging. In conditions of complete cloud cover, they have to rely on other cues such as polarization patterns in the sky, which are less reliable and consistent compared to the sun. However, research is ongoing and it is still not fully understood how honeybees navigate in overcast conditions. 

big hexagon made of little hexagons

Why do honeybees have 4 wings? 

Honeybees have four wings for efficient and coordinated flight. The two forewings and two hindwings work together in a synchronized manner to provide lift, stability, and control in the air. The forewings are slightly longer than the hindwings and move in unison, providing the necessary lift and energy to propel the bee forward. The hindwings provide stability and maneuverability, helping the bee make tight turns and control its flight path. By having four wings, honeybees are able to fly with speed and precision, allowing them to efficiently gather nectar and pollen from flowers. 

bee flying

What are 10 facts of a honeybee that are not widely known? 

  1. Honeybees are capable of recognising and remembering human faces. 
  2. The lifespan of a worker bee is only 6 weeks. 
  3. Honeybees can fly up to 15 miles per hour. 
  4. Honeybees communicate through scent, pheromones, and dance. 
  5. The queen bee can lay up to 2,500 eggs per day. 
  6. Honeybees can fly in the rain and even collect nectar from flowers in the rain. 
  7. Honeybees have a highly organized social structure, with each bee having a specific role to play. 
  8. The honeybee’s wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, generating their distinctive buzz. 
  9. Honeybees can control the temperature inside the hive by fanning their wings. 
  10. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating over 80% of the world's crops, including almonds, apples, and avocados. 

big hexagon made of little hexagons

Why is biodiversity important for honeybees? 

Biodiversity is important for honeybees because it provides a variety of plants for the bees to feed on, which in turn provides a variety of nectar and pollen sources. This diversity of food sources helps to maintain the health of the bee colony and also supports their overall population. Additionally, a diverse landscape of flowers and other plants helps to ensure that the bees have a continuous food source throughout the year, reducing the risk of starvation and promoting population stability. Overall, maintaining biodiversity helps to support the well-being of honeybees and their populations, and contributes to the overall health of the ecosystem. 

honey bee flying

How has climate change, deforestation and the use of pesticides led to the demise of the honeybee? 

Climate change, deforestation and the use of pesticides have led to the decline of honeybee populations in several ways: 

  1. Climate change: Climate change has resulted in earlier flowering seasons and a shift in the timing of migration patterns, which can disrupt the availability of food sources for honeybees. 
  2. Deforestation: Deforestation reduces the amount of land available for flowering plants and food sources for honeybees, which can lead to declining populations. 
  3. Pesticides: The use of pesticides can be toxic to honeybees, causing them to become disoriented, reduce their ability to reproduce and feed, and ultimately leading to death. Additionally, pesticides can also harm the development of their colonies, reduce the number of queens produced, and cause the disappearance of worker bees. 

little hexagons making a big hexagon