Interesting Cool Facts About Bees
Bees are fascinating creatures that carry out several unique jobs in their lifetime. The production of honey is just one of the many fun facts about bees as you will soon learn.
Perhaps one of the most important facts about bees is that they aid in maintaining our food chain. They carry out up to 80% of pollination in the world. But this isn’t the only amazing trait of bees. Check out some fascinating facts about these tiny buzzing pests!
Benefits of Bee Stings
We all think of bee stings as being painful, which they can be, but surprisingly they have several benefits too. Researchers have found that specific molecules in bee venom are beneficial in increasing the anti-inflammatory hormone (glucocorticoid) in the body. This can be effective in reducing pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientists are currently studying bee venom, and hoping that in the future it can be used in manufacturing preventative gels against HIV. The melittin (bee venom) is capable of poking holes in the HIV virus’s protective envelop so it can be used to destroy the lethal virus.
Brain Chemistry Changes with the Job
Certain roles are designated to each bee during its lifespan. Their brain is developed accordingly to fulfill their duties. For example, scout bees have adventurous brains because they’re always hunting for new food sources.
Soldier bees are vigilant because they are the security guards of their families. Brain patterns of undertakers force them to remove dead bees from the nest.
Honeybees perform different duties during their lifetime, and their brain wiring changes each time they’re up for a new job.
Time Defying Brains
One of the many unique facts about bees is their time defying brains. When older or middle-aged bees assume roles of younger bees, their brains stop aging and start ticking in reverse. Scientists believe that this astonishing discovery will be helpful in finding the cure of dementia or at least in slowing down the onset of the disease.
Benefits in Medicine
Bees occasionally use beehive glue to reinforce their hives. This beehive glue is a resin called propolis which is derived from poplar and evergreen trees. Though bees use this resin for caulking, humans mainly use it in manufacturing medicines. It has been used to ward off bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Several types of research prove this resin taken from the beehive instead of poplar trees is effective in relieving symptoms of:
- a sore throat
- canker sores
- cold sores
Yes, that’s surprising but true. Honeybees can identify and recognize human faces. They identify humans by “configural processing” in which they take out body parts like lips, ears, eyebrows, etc. and assemble them together to make a complete face out of them. This impressive ability of bees will aid scientists in improving the face recognition technology.
Like humans, honeybees can get high on cocaine too, and the addiction will change bees into liars. Bees normally communicate by dancing and give their fellow bees directions about the sources of food.
If honeybees somehow consume cocaine, they get high and exaggerate the quality of the food by amplifying their dance moves. The addiction to the drug is so much that they even exhibit withdrawal symptoms.
Mathematical Problem Solver
Mathematical problems can be tricky, and leave humans perplexed sometimes. Even computers can trip up, but bumblebees are smarter than all. They are known to be the only animals having the mathematical problem-solving ability. They’re able to make complicated calculations about distance traveled.
While flying from one flower to another, bees will always pick the shortest possible route due to their calculating capabilities.
For centuries, scientists have conducted research that proves that honeybees are the most economical builders. They build their honeycombs with the least possible amount of wax. The honeycomb structure is a classic on its own with walls meeting precisely at 120 degrees with each other and thus making perfect hexagons.
Honey bees are fabulous flyers, and can fly up to 15 miles per hour. They have a magnificent ability to beat their wings 200 times in one second which produces that distinctive buzz sound.
One of the many cool and unique facts about bees is that honeybees dance to communicate about food to each other. This specific dance is known as the waggle dance. After locating food sources, worker bees return to their hives and perform this specific dance. They move in figure eight and wiggle to direct their fellow bees towards the direction of the food source.
Sense of Smell
They possess a remarkable sense of smell which they use to communicate with each other within their hives. This helps them to identify hundreds of different varieties of flowers. Their sense of smell is so refined they can tell from meters away which flower has pollen and which one has nectar.
Bees possess around 170 odorant receptors which facilitate them in kin recognition, communicating, and locating food.
The role of a Queen Bee in the hive is to lay eggs. They have a large lifespan living up to 5 years, and a massive egg-laying capacity. Peak egg-laying season is the summer season. During this time a queen can lay up to 2500 eggs per day. Queens hold the authority to determine the gender of the eggs.
The most famous facts about bees are without a doubt the production of honey. But besides being delicious, honey is unique in several other aspects:
- It is the only insect-created food which is consumed by humans and has nutritional, medicinal, cosmetic and therapeutic value.
- Honey is the only food which is enriched with substances which are essential for human survival. It has water, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. It contains “pinocembrin” an antioxidant which is very useful in augmenting brain function.
- The lifespan of an average worker bee is 5-6 weeks, and at this time it produces only about 1/12th teaspoon of honey. This shows how precious every drop of honey is.
To collect just 1 kg of honey, a hive of bees will have to fly about 90,000 miles; equivalent to three orbits around the earth.
Colony Collapse Disorder
One of the unfortunate and sad facts about bees today is that billions of honeybees are disappearing from the world. Scientists are unable to find one solid reason for this. Labeled “colony collapse disorder” as a colony after colony of honeybees is disappearing. Bees are simply leaving their hives, and not returning. In some areas, up to 90% of bees have disappeared in the past 15 years.
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