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Honey Bee Facts – Did you know…

  1. Nearly all honey bees in a hive are female!  Drones are the only male honey bees and their sole purpose is for mating.  They appear periodically and are short lived with a lifespan of only a few weeks.
  2. Mature honey bees colonies contain 20,000-80,000 bees.
  3. The queen may live as long as 5 years and lays 1,500-2,000 eggs per day.
  4. Millions of dollars in honey and bees wax products are produced annually by honey bees.
  5. The pollinating services provided by honey bees are estimated to exceed $20 million annually.
  6. Honey bee colonies intermittently subdivide in a process known as swarming.  During this time the queen and approximately ½ the colony will relocate to form a new colony.
  7. Only the female honey bees will sting.  The “stinger” is actually part of their reproductive design called an ovipositor.  Certain honey bee species will die after stinging due to small barbs on the stinger becoming imbedded into the object that was stung.  Honey bees are one of those species.
  8. European honey bees are docile and only sting when they or their hive is threatened.
  9. Honey bees were originally brought to North American from Europe in the 1600’s.
  10. In recent years, colony collapse disorder (CCD) has been taking a devastating toll on the honey bees and the bee keeping industry.