Get to know the amazing insect that inspired our school mascot, Wes.
By Tate Marcinkoski
- Everybody is familiar with the honeybee and bumblebee, but there are actually more than 20,000 different species of bees on the planet.
- Bees are a bit like us: They can recognize human faces the same way we do.
- They have their own unique personalities. Some are brave and love adventure, while others are shy and like to stay close to the hive.
- 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.
- Bees can fly for up to six miles, as fast as 15 miles per hour. To
- 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!
- So you think you can dance? Well, bees can. They communicate with each other by dancing — what scientists call a “waggle.”
- Talk about hard work! An average bee only produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime.
- Bees have a super power: They can see ultra-violet rays.
- 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.
- 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.