7 Secrets About Honeybees

Okay, so these may not be secrets, but rather, not-so-well-known facts... Here we go:

1.  The drones (male bees) mate with the queen and then die.  Who needs them after they've done their job?

2.  After her mating flight, the queen never leaves the hive.  The worker bees feed her and remove her waste...until they remove her.

3.  A colony may contain up to 60,000 bees at once!

4.  Foraging bees drink nectar from flowers and store it in special honey stomachs where enzymes start breaking it down into simple sugars.  Once their stomachs are full, they return to the hive and regurgitate it.  Hive bees drink up the modified nectar and further break it down in their honey stomachs.  They later deposit the almost-honey nectar into cells of the honeycomb where it is cured and capped with wax.  Pretty cool!

5.  If the sister bees feel that their queen is failing them, or for some reason they dislike her, they'll kill her and produce a new one.

6.  The bees maintain a constant temperature in the hive above 90 degrees all year long. 

7.  Bees will produce a new queen by feeding a larva large amounts of a substance called royal jelly.  This develops a bee more fully for reproducing.