We simply cannot live without bees. They are major pollinators and pollinate almost 80% of all flowering plants! Moreover, almost 90 commercially grown crops depend on bee pollination!
Thus to raise awareness about the importance of bees, 20th of May of every year is observed as World Bee Day!
Check out some interesting facts about bees!
1. Bees see blue better than red
The Nobel laureate scientist Karl Von Frisch first proved that bees could see colour. The ability to see ultraviolet light enables bees to navigate their ways to identify different flowers. Bees have a broader range of vision than humans. Therefore, they can see different patterns on the petals that humans cannot. It allows them to find nectar easily and pollinate them as well.
They base their colour vision on two colours, blue and green. Therefore, they cannot see the colour red. They do not have a photoreceptor for it.
It is also why the blue, purple and violet flowers attract the bees the most. Another reason a bee prefers flowers in the violet-blue range is because they tend to produce a high volume of nectar.
2. A queen bee mates only once in its lifetime
A beehive has only one queen bee, and it is the only fertile female in the population. The Queen bee has very developed ovaries. It can lay 2000 or more eggs in a day. However, it only mates once in its lifetime and has a great capacity for controlling fertilisation.
Usually, in the first 10 days of its life, a queen bee goes on a mating flight with about 15 to 20 drones or male bees in the air. After mating, the queen bee stores the sperm in its spermatheca and lays eggs for the rest of its life.
3. Worker bees communicate through dance moves
Honey bees evolved a unique form of communication called ‘waggle’ dance! It is one of the most interesting facts about bees as they not only dance; they have different styles of dance depending on different activities, time and space.
For instance, a bee ‘waggle’ dances when it finds a nectar source and wants to inform other bees. Likewise, a worker bee also performs a ‘shake’ dance when the nectar sources are rich and more foragers are required.
Finally, they also ‘tremble’ dance when they bring much nectar into the hive, and more bees are required to process it into honey.
4. A bee can beat its wings up to 200 times a second
Another amazing fact about bees is that they can bat their wings super-fast, almost 200 times per second! It allows them to fly so well, even if their size is small. The high-speed wing movement lets them move the air as fast as a bigger insect with their comparatively bigger wings.
The rapid flapping of wings produces a positive charge and helps attract the naturally negatively charged pollen from the flowers to their furry bodies.
Do you know other interesting facts about bees? Let us know in the comment section!