- 35% of the food we eat depends on pollination by bees.
- There are 25,000 different species of bees.
- 1.6 million colonies of honey bees are needed to pollinate California’s 800,000 acres of almond trees.
- Honey bees will fly up to 4 miles from the hive to collect water, nectar and pollen.
- Bees are the only insect that create food eaten by humans.
- They have an incredible sense of smell and can tell the difference between hundreds of different flower varieties and tell whether a flower carried pollen or nectar from far away.
- A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
- Worker honey bees are female and do all the work.
- The queen bee can live up to 5 years and lays up to 2500 eggs per day.
- The queen bee has control over whether she lays male or female eggs.
- Only 10% of the world’s 20,000 bee species are social, and only a small percentage of these construct hives.
- In North America, only the introduced European honey bee and bumble bees build hives and live in colonies.
- Most bees, approximately 75%, are solitary and live in individual nests tunneled into the soil.
- Only honey bees die after stinging. Native solitary bees do not die after stinging, however, without a colony to defend, they are much less likely to utilize this defense mechanism.
- Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) only affects honey bees in managed hives. The cause of this disease is still unknown, and there may be a number of contributing of factors, including pesticides, stress, and malnutrition.
- California contains among the most diverse bee populations in the country, with 1,600 identified species (the entire U.S. contains approximately 4,000 species). Only a handful of these are non-native, including the honey bee.
- Honey bees are famous for their “waggle dance,” a figure-eight shimmy they perform in midair to share information about nearby resources (flowers, water, or new hive locations) with other bees of their hive. Native bees are mostly solitary, and would prefer to keep the good spots to themselves.