When I started to research bees I had no idea how amazing they are. There is so much to know and tell you about. I felt the best way to do this was to make a giant list and include videos and images that would easily help you digest the enormous amount of information I have discovered.

Let’s get started!

The Earthwatch Institute concluded in its last debate of the Royal Geographical Society of London, that bees are the most important living being on the planet, however, scientists have also made an announcement: Bees have already entered extinction risk.

Wow! That is disturbing.

  • Bees around the world have disappeared by up to 90%. Depending on the location, the reasons vary. Here are some of the main reasons.
    • massive deforestation
    • lack of safe places for nests
    • lack of flowers
    • use of uncontrolled pesticides
    • changes in soil
    • others
  • Why are Bees the most valuable living being on our planet?
    • They are the only living beings that are not carriers of any type of pathogen, regardless of whether it is a fungus, a virus, or a bacterium.  INCREDIBLE!
    • 70 out of 100 foods are intervened in favor by bees.
    • The pollination that the bees make allows the plants to reproduce, from which millions of animals feed, without them, the fauna would soon begin to disappear.
    • The honey produced by bees, not only serves as food but also provides many benefits to our health and skin.
    • According to a quote by Albert Einstein, if bees disappear, humans would have 4 years to live.

That is a lot to digest. Now that you know why bees are so valuable, I’ve put together a list of amazing facts about bees.

  • There are bees that actually DANCE! Bees produce pheromones (A pheromone is a chemical that an animal produces that changes the behavior of another animal of the same species.) which helps them communicate. Only the worker bees DANCE to communicate with other workers.
  • Bees flap their wings about 230 times per second which creates a positive charge that attracts pollen to their furry body. Yep, bees have furry bodies. The rapid flapping results in the buzzing sound they make.
  • Only female bees can sting. Male bees do not have stingers.
  • The drone bee doesn’t sting and doesn’t work. Its only job is to mate with the queen bee.
  • Honey has an antioxidant that improves brain function. So it can help make you smarter.
  • Bees work themselves to death. During the summer they work so hard that they rarely live longer than six weeks. During the colder months, they can live up to nine months.
  • Bees can alter their brain chemistry.
    • Scout bees are adventurous. Their job is to look for new food sources.
    • Soldier bees are the security guards their whole life long.
    • About one percent of the bees act as undertakers, removing the dead bees from the hive.
    • Honeybees are versatile. That is because they change their brain chemistry before taking on a new job.
  • Bees can stop their brains from aging. Older bees can age in reverse. When older bees take on the job that is usually done by younger bees their brains stop aging. According to Scientists at Arizona State University, this discovery may help us slow the onset of dementia in people.
  • Legs – The honey bee has three pairs of legs, six legs in total. However, the rear pair is specially designed with stiff hairs to store pollen when flying from flower to flower. This is why a heavily laden worker bee is seen to have two golden pouches in a full season. The front pair of legs have special slots to enable the bee to clean its antenna.
  • Wings – The honey bee has four wings in total. The front and rear wings hook together to form one big pair of wings and unhook for easy folding when not flying.
  • Eyes – Incredible as it may seem, the honey bee has FIVE eyes, two large compound eyes, and three smaller ocelli eyes in the center of its head.

Now let’s talk about the Bumblebee. There are 49 species of bumblebees living in the USA.

  • Bumblebees are social and live in colonies of between 50 to 500 individual bees in a hive. The hives are usually underground and provide shelter and a safe place to raise their young.
  • The new queens hibernate just beneath the surface of the ground in the colder winter months. In the fall, the bumblebee colonies will die. The queen emerges in the spring to start new colonies by beginning to lay eggs.
  • Bumblebees wings beat 130 or more per second. This vibrates the flowers until they release the pollen. This is called “buzz pollination”.
Credit: Seppo Leinonen – Parts of a Bumblebee


  • The western bumble bee, the yellow-banded bumblebee, and Franklin’s bumblebee have all vanished from their range. The rusty-patched bumble was recently listed as endangered. The status of other species remains unknown. Scientists report similar losses across Europe, South America, and Asia.
  • Habitat loss, pesticides, diseases, climate change, and competition from honeybees were reported by Sarina Jepsen, endangered species program director for Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and deputy chair of the IUCN Bumble Bee Specialist Group.
From early spring to early fall the bumblebees need access to a variety of nectar and pollen-producing flowers for food for the adults and their larvae.
  • Plant native plants, some that bloom in the spring, some that bloom in the summer, and some that bloom in the fall. That provides three seasons of food for bumblebees and other pollinating insects.
  • Avoid using pesticides and herbicides, especially systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam.) The neonicotinoids are taken up into the vascular systems of plants so that the bees and other pollinators are still exposed to the poison as they feed on the nectar and pollen long after the neonicotinoids have been applied to the plants.
  • You can help scientists study the bumblebees that are in your area and report them to the Bumble Bee Watch, which is a new citizen-science project sponsored by the Xerces Society and five North American partners. National Wildlife Federation


  • A honeybee will produce about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in their LIFETIME.
    • Bees will have to visit thousands of flowers to produce just (1) teaspoon of honey.
  • Bees collect and produce more than just honey.
    • There are many things used by bees and harvested by humans including propolis, pollen, beeswax, royal jelly, and bee venom. (check out bee products).
    • Forager bees must collect nectar from about (2) million flowers to make (1) pound of honey.
  • Drones do not have a father – just a mother and grandfather.
    • The drone is created from an unfertilized egg and inherits all its genetics from its mother and grandfather. The name for this is parthenogenesis.
  • Bees have been here for about 30 million years. That’s a lot longer than man.
  • Bees are changing medicine. To reinforce their hives, bees use a resin from poplar and evergreen trees called propolis. It’s basically beehive glue. Although bees use it as caulk, humans use it to fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Research shows that propolis taken from a beehive may relieve cold sores, canker sores, herpes, sore throat, cavities, and even eczema.
  • Bees can recognize human faces. Honeybees make out faces the same way we do. They take parts—like eyebrows, lips, and ears—and cobble them together to make out the whole face. It’s known as configural processing, and it might help computer scientists improve face recognition technology, The New York Times reports.
  • Bees have personalities. In beehives, you will find workers and shirkers. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that not all bees are interchangeable drones. Some bees are thrill-seekers, while others are a bit timider. A 2011 study even found that agitated honeybees can be pessimistic, showing that, to some extent, bees might have feelings. Bees: They’re just like us!
  • Bees can solve hairy mathematical problems. Pretend it’s the weekend, and it’s time to do errands. You have to visit six stores and they’re all at six separate locations. What’s the shortest distance you can travel while visiting all six? Mathematicians call this the “traveling salesman problem,” and it can even stump some computers. But for bumblebees, it’s a snap. Researchers at Royal Holloway University in London found that bumblebees fly the shortest route possible between flowers. So far, they’re the only animals known to solve the problem.
  • Bees get buzzed from caffeine and cocaine. Caffeine is a plant defense chemical that shoos harmful insects away and lures pollinators in. Scientists at Newcastle University found that nectar laced with caffeine helps bees remember where the flower is, increasing the chances of a return visit. Caffeine makes bees work harder but cocaine turns them into big fat liars. Bees “dance” to communicate—a way of giving fellow bees directions to good food. But when honeybees are high they exaggerate their moves and overemphasize the food’s quality. Bees even have withdrawal symptoms, helping scientists understand the nuances of addiction.
  • Bees have Viking-like navigation techniques. Bees use the Sun as a compass. But when it’s cloudy, there’s a backup—they navigate by polarized light, using special photoreceptors to find the Sun’s place in the sky. The Vikings may have used a similar system: On sunny days, they navigated with sundials, but on cloudy days, sunstones—chunks of calcite that act like a Polaroid filter—helped them stay on course.
  • Bees are nature’s most economical builders. In 36 BCE, Marcus Terentius Varro argued that honeycombs were the most practical structures around. Centuries later, Greek mathematician Pappus solidified the “honeycomb conjecture” by making the same claim. Almost 2000 years later, American mathematician Thomas Hales wrote a mathematical proof showing that, of all the possible structures, honeycombs use the least amount of wax. Not only are honeycombs the most efficient structures in nature—the walls meet at a precise 120-degree angle, a perfect hexagon.
  • Bees can help us catch serial killers. Serial killers behave like bees. They commit their crimes close to home, but far enough away that the neighbors don’t get suspicious. Similarly, bees collect pollen near their hive, but far enough that predators can’t find the hive. To understand how this “buffer zone” works, scientists studied bee behavior and wrote up a few algorithms. Their findings improved computer models police use to find felons.
  • Bees are job creators. The average American consumes roughly 1.51 pounds of honey each year. On top of that, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that honeybees pollinate up to 80 percent of the country’s insect crops—meaning bees pollinate over $15 billion worth of crops each year.


  • Africanized honey bees are easily antagonized (more so than other types of honey bees). Not only have they killed horses and other animals, but they have also killed about 1,000 human beings. The victims received 10 times more stings than from European honey bees. They can chase a person a quarter of a mile.
  • The Africanized honey bees are best in tropical climates but at the peak of their expansion, they spread north at about a mile a day. They are considered an invasive species and are now found in many U.S. states.
  • Although the venom of the Africanized honey bees is the same as European honey bees there are more deaths from the Africanized bees because they sting in swarms. Deaths from allergies can occur but complications result from humans being stung many times. Some serious side effects are skin inflammation, dizziness, headaches, weakness, edema, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Sometimes the effects can cause increased heart rates, respiratory distress, and even renal failure. Side effects can become quite serious. However, sting cases are rare and are usually the result of accidentally stumbling upon a hive in highly populated areas.


  • There is so much more to say about bees, but I think I have given you the knowledge as to why bees are so vital to our planet and our food supply. Even Killer Bees have their purpose. Remember to:
    • Plant native plants, some that bloom in the spring, some that bloom in the summer, and some that bloom in the fall so bees can pollinate them.
    • Avoid using pesticides and herbicides, especially systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids
      acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam.
    • You can help scientists study the bumblebees that are in your area and report them to the Bumble Bee Watch, which is a new citizen-science project sponsored by the Xerces Society and five North American partners. National Wildlife Federation

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