Honeybees are some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. More than a million neurons pack their tiny brains, allowing them a greater depth of thought than most people associate with insects. Their language, roles, and commitment to the hive indicate that honeybees certainly are impressive. Read on to learn the amazing facts about honeybees.
A Colony May Have Up to 60,000 Honeybees
With populations ranging between 20,000 and 60,000 honeybees, it takes a lot of work to keep a hive running. Some responsibilities include:
- Guard honeybees watch the entrance of the hive.
- Nurse honeybees take care of the young.
- The attendant workers feed and bathe the queen.
- Undertakers remove the dead.
- Foragers supply the hive with pollen and nectar.
A Queen Can Lay Over 2,000 Eggs a Day
Only 48 hours after she mates, the queen starts her ongoing mission to lay eggs. She is so successful at this job that she can lay her body weight in eggs in a single day. On an average day, she would produce about 1,500 eggs, but she can lay up to 2,000. In a lifetime, she may reach over 1 million.
Honeybees Communicate Using a Complex Symbolic Language
One of the most amazing facts about honeybees is that these tiny creatures communicate with each other using a complex symbolic language. Aside from the primate family, honeybees possess the most complicated symbolic language on the planet. They need this language to help them fulfill different roles in the honey gathering process.
For instance, when foragers find a worthy food source, they head home and share the details about its location with other foragers. They communicate this through an intricately choreographed dance. Honeybees also talk to each other using odors produced by secreted pheromones.
Beeswax Comes From Glands on the Bee’s Abdomen
The younger worker honeybees make beeswax; then, other workers use the substance to construct honeycomb. How beeswax comes into the world is a fascinating process. On the honeybee’s abdomen, eight glands produce wax droplets. When exposed to air, the droplets harden into flakes. Finally, the workers soften the wax flakes with their mouths until it becomes a pliable construction material.