Some interesting bee facts for you to ponder

1. Bees fly 24,000 miles collectively and visit between three and nine million flowers to make one pound of honey.

A worker bee visits between 50 and 100 flowers during a collection trip.

3. According to fossil records, bees first appeared on Earth about 150 million years ago, whereas we humans have probably been around for 200,000 years.

Bees can live without us but we cannot live without them. Einstein allegedly said that if all the bees disappeared then the human race would die out after four years.

Honey is the only food that does not spoil provided it is in an airtight container.

6. Honey discovered in the Egyptian pyramids was still palatable (after 2000 or more years yet beekeepers must declare a “best before”date of 5 years on their jars!!!)

Bees cruise at about 15 mph but can fly at speeds up to 20 mph.

Bees never sleep.

A strong colony in Summer will have one queen, 50,000 worker bees (sterile females) and about 1000 drones (males).

10. A worker bee born in the Spring/Summer lives for 6 weeks working itself to death after flying approximately 500 miles; one born in the Autumn lives for 6 months.

11. A queen bee has to eat 80 times her own weight to produce 2,000 eggs per day.

12. A queen bee can live up to 5 years and is the only bee that lays eggs.

13. One bee will make one tenth of a teaspoon of honey during her lifetime.

One in three mouthfuls of food we eat is dependent on pollination.

Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water.

16. The honey bee's wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz.

It takes one ounce of food to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.

Larger than worker bees, the male honey bees (also called drones) have no stinger and do no work at all. Their function is to be around if a new queen requires fertilisation.

Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened. They die once they sting.

It is estimated that 1100 honey bee stings are generally required to be fatal.

21. Each honey bee colony has a unique odour for members’ recognition.

22. Honey bees communicate with one another by “dancing”.

If you think you would like to keep bees, your first move should be to get to know a beekeeper and find out for sure whether you are suited to bees (they sting!), your proposed site is suitable etc. before parting with your hard earned cash; expect to pay at least £400 for your first hive, bees and some basic equipment!

Get a book out of the library or go online and read as much as you can about bees but be warned, in my experience after a while you will think you can manage your bees but then it becomes obvious that they haven’t read the same book!!!

For help/advice contact me at:

I do not pretend to be an expert but after keeping bees for over 30 years I am able to warn you of some of the pitfalls!