Thanks to small, but interesting creatures – bees, the process of pollination of most plants takes place. Organizing their life is really surprising: the family of bees is strictly organized, all the work in the hive is done by worker bees (these are females). There are about 200,000 honey insects in the world, and only 800 of them are social. It’s more or less clear with bees, but what do beekeepers do?
A beekeeper is a person who raises and keeps bees. When we eat honey, we rarely think about the effort it took to get it.
Beekeeping is quite hard work, and sometimes it requires complete dedication. You can study for this profession both at a specialized secondary educational institution and at a higher institution.
If you are here, it is because this subject interests you. We will not be long in telling you immediately about the 10 most interesting facts about bees for beekeepers. It’s educational!
10. The bee will always find its way home
The answer to the question: “How do bees find their way home?is actually very simple, despite the fact that bees are amazing and unusual creatures. When they return home, they are guided by the polarization of light in the sky, by the position of the Sun, by the surrounding landscape.
In addition, for several days they remember the way to their hive. If the weather is cloudy and the visibility is poor, the bee will always find its way home.
Interesting fact: it is believed that the older the bee, the more distance it can travel and remember the way to its hive.
9. “Sealed” for winter
From the title of the paragraph, you might think that the bees themselves are somehow sealed, but that’s a little different. In order for the bees to be healthy, strong and long-lived, the beekeeper must take care of their favorable wintering..
Unfortunately, many insects do not survive the winter, so their hives are isolated. Wintering begins after the process of collecting honey – insects are “locked” inside the hive. There they form dense tubercles and, thanks to the heat, warm up.
At low temperatures, bees become more active, so more food is consumed. It is these factors that determine the need to take care of the insulation of the hive.
8. Lift and carry 40 times its own weight
It’s hard to believe that these tiny creatures can carry 40 times its own weight! The insect is only 12-14 mm. in length and 5-6 in height. Its weight is (if measured on an empty stomach) about 1/10 of a gram.
Sometimes these wonderful creatures – bees – have to lift even more weight in the air: leaving the hive with the corpse of a drone, the bee carries twice as much as it weighs itself.
The flight speed of bees depends on the load with which they fly, the strength of the wind and many other reasons. Interestingly, ants also have the ability to carry 40 times more weight than their own.
7. The Egyptians were the first beekeepers
The domestication of winged workers began with the Egyptians.. The ancient Egyptians were especially fond of bees – they believed that the tears shed by the sun god Ra during the creation of the world turned into these insects. After that, the bees began to bring good luck and, of course, honey and wax to their creator – the man who raised the bees. Figures of various pharaohs and gods were made from wax, using them as voodoo dolls.
The Egyptians believed that through them you could influence gods and people. It is curious that the bee became a symbol of the Egyptian goddess – Maat, personifying the law of universal harmony. People believed that if you live by the laws of the goddess, you can gain eternal life.
Beekeeping originated in ancient Egypt, according to archaeological excavations, 6000 years ago.
6. In ancient Egypt, honey was used for embalming
And not just in Egypt. Honey was used to embalm corpses in Assyria and ancient Greece.. The embalming process took place in a rather terrible way: first, the Egyptians removed the brain from a human corpse, removing it with an iron hook through the nose, and then pouring liquid oil , which hardened there.
The oil was made from beeswax, various vegetable oils and tree resin (conifer resin was brought from Palestine). The process did not end there – it included cleansing the body of other organs. After 40-50 days (during this time the corpse dried out), the body was rubbed with oil – its composition was the same as that used to pour into the skull.
5. Worker bees have different lifespans
A bee is a short-lived insect. It is impossible to say exactly how long she lives, as it depends on many factors..
For example, worker bees are female creatures; due to their physiological characteristics, they do not have the ability to reproduce. The life expectancy of such a bee is influenced by many factors: nutrition, climatic conditions (including in winter), etc. If an individual was born in the summer, it can live for 30 days. If in the fall – up to six months, and the spring lives about 35 days.
4. Most of the country collects honey in Siberia
At the question: “Where is the best honey produced? the experts will answer you Siberia – virgin honey land of Russia. Today, beekeeping is well developed even in northern Siberia, not to mention regions with a warmer climate.
Beekeepers are constantly developing new methods, thanks to which they get more honey and, I must say, excellent quality. Honey from Siberia, Altai and Bashkir is recognized as the best in the world – the products collected in these regions are saturated with healing composition and meet quality standards.
In Siberia, when the weather does not interfere, the honey conveyor operates without interruption and the bees work tirelessly throughout the season.
3. Richard Coeur de Lion used bees as a weapon
Bees have been used as weapons since ancient times. Currently, bees and other insects cannot be used as a type of biological weapon.
Even the ancient Greeks, Romans and other peoples used ships with bees to hold off the enemy’s onslaught.
For example, soldiers from the army of Richard the Lionheart (King of England – 1157-1199) launched vessels filled with swarms of bees into besieged fortresses. Even armor (as you know, it was made of metal) could not save angry bees, and stung horses could not be controlled.
2. A swarm of bees collects about 50 kg of pollen per season.
Exkert (1942) calculated that a full colony collects about 55 kg of pollen per year; according to Farrer (1978), a healthy and strong bee colony collects about 57 kg. pollen per year, and studies by S. Repisak (1971) suggest that in in a year, these tiny and wonderful insects harvest up to 60 kg. flower pollen.
Interestingthat bees collect and transport pollen on the surface of their bodies.
1. To obtain 100 gr. bees need to fly around 2 million flowers
A bee in its short life will not be able to collect so much nectar to obtain 100 gr. honey (in her life she collects no more than 5 gr.) But if we talk about the number of flowers in general, then for 1 kg. honey comes from the nectar of around 19 million flowers. For 100 gr. 1.9 million flowers are obtained.
It should be noted that a single bee visits up to several thousand flowers per day, landing an average of 7,000 flowers.