According to the reports and studies done by the US Department of Agriculture, these busy workers are responsible for pollinating about 80% of the flowering crops in the country. And this has been estimated to be ⅓ of everything that people include in their diet.
Quick Bee Facts
- These insects have 7-9 recognized families and these consist of about 20,000 different species.
- The queen bee, the drone bee, and the worker bee are the members of the bee colony. The workers are all females and they do the cleaning, collect pollen, and nectar as food, and look after the offspring. Drones are males and their job is to mate with the queen, whose job is to only lay eggs.
- If you have ever been stung by a bee, it must have been a female. A female bee is the only one who can lay a sting. The venom is stored in the sac which is attached to its stinger.
- Some species of bees like the honeybees die after they sting a mammal. As mentioned, the stinger is a part of the reproductive design and it is attached to the abdomen. Moreover, the stinger happens to be barbed. So, when a bee stings and tries to fly away, it mortally tears away a part of abdomen and dies.
- Contrary to what most people think, not all species of bees are stingers. For instance, meliponinae, although have stingers are known to be sting-less. This is due to their highly reduced stingers which are not good enough for defense.
- Communication between honey bees is done through dancing.
- Do you know from where does the distinctive 'buzz' come from? It's a result of all the hard work of the bees, who stroke their wings with a speed of 200 beats per second!
- Honey making is a complex process where the bee mixes the collected nectar with an enzyme in its mouth and produces honey as a result.
Recent studies have shown a drastic reduction in bee population in recent times. The loss has been so major that some scientists considered it to be the first bee epidemic in the year 2006, in US.
The disappearance of bees is a mystery. They tend to leave their colonies only to get lost and never to return. There have been many instances wherein beekeepers have found dead bees in or around their colonies.
The loss of these fliers may have a huge impact on the production of dietary staples such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, nuts, asparagus, blueberries, and cucumbers to name a few.
Also, the beef and dairy industries may also have to face critical situations. This is due to the reason that apart from other feeds for the animals, if alfalfa becomes unavailable, it will affect the cattle population and thus, the industries.
The mysterious disappearance of different types of bees may be somehow related to cell phones. Some scientists are of the opinion with their research-based findings that the radiation given out by mobile phones or any other hi-tech gadgets may have something to do with the shocking wipe-off of the bees from this planet.
They are of the opinion that the radiation emitted by mobile phones tends to interfere with the bees' navigation system. So when this happens, these insects suffer disorientation and fail to find their way back home. Left bewildered and homeless, the insects suffer death.
In America, there has been a loss of 60% of commercial bee population in the West Coast and 70% in the East. The findings of a university say that seeds and crops worth about $14 billion are known to be pollinated by honeybees. And so, if these insects disappear, people may be left with only bread and water for survival.