10 Fun and Surprising Facts About Bees

Get to know the amazing insect that inspired our school mascot, Wes.

By Tate Marcinkoski

  1. Everybody is familiar with the honeybee and bumblebee, but there are actually more than 20,000 different species of bees on the planet.
  2. Bees are a bit like us: They can recognize human faces the same way we do.
  3. They have their own unique personalities. Some are brave and love adventure, while others are shy and like to stay close to the hive.
  4. What’s the buzz? The loud noise you hear when a bee approaches is the sound of its wings moving 11,400 strokes per minute.
  5. Bees can fly for up to six miles, as fast as 15 miles per hour. To
  6. produce a single pound of honey, bees would have to fly 90,000 miles or three times around the world. Let’s hope their passports are up-to-date!
  7. So you think you can dance? Well, bees can. They communicate with each other by dancing — what scientists call a “waggle.”
  8. Talk about hard work! An average bee only produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime.
  9. Bees have a super power: They can see ultra-violet rays.
  10. Sadly, for the first time in history, a bee species — the rusty patched bumblebee — was added to the U.S. endangered species list this year.
  11. Bees could be Starbucks’ newest customers. Scientists have discovered that bees love and are attracted to the caffeine released by plants, which helps them with their pollination work.

Sources: 1. Britannica;  2. Journal of Experimental Biology;  3. University of Illinois entomologists;  4. Utah Country Beekeepers Association;  5. British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture;  6. Sussex University;  7. NOVA “Tales From the Hive”;  8. Scientific America; 9. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 10. Current Biology.