Bee Trivia

Bee Trivia

We found some of these facts from our very favorite (though becoming dated) beekeeping book:The Beekeeper's Handbook, by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile

  • The honey bee is the state insect for a number of states:
1973: Arkansas, North Carolina1983: Utah
1975: Georgia, Main, Nebraska1985: Missourri
1976: Kansas1990: Tennessee
"official agricultural insect
1977: Louisiana, Vermont, Wisconsin1992: Oklahoma
1978: South Dakota2002: West Virginia
1980: Mississippi


  • Forage range (massive area):
    • Typical: 2-3.5 mile radius (8000-28,000 acres)
    • Maximum: 5-8 mile radius (50,000-129,000 acres)
  • Average worker bee lifetime flight mileage: 500 miles
  • Number of flowers visited per bee per load of pollen: 50 to 350
  • Number of pollen grains on a pollinating bee: 250,000 to 6,000,000 (flower dependent)
  • Lethal dose of venom: approximately 10 bee stings per pound of body weight
  • Amount of honey produced per hive per year: up to 400 pounds
    Amount of honey in excess that a beekeeper can claim per hive per year: 0 to 200 pounds (averaging 50-80 pounds). The rest is for the bees.
  • Pounds of honey per gallon: 12
  • Honey bee development times (in days) from Wikipedia's Honey Bee Brood article:
Days in State
Period Total
Start of
Queen3(fert.)5.57.5the last 816 totalapprox. 23rd day
Worker3(fert.)69the last 1221 totaln/a
Drone3(unfert.)6.510the last 14.524 totalapprox. 38th day

Created with the HTML Table Generator

The honey seeking   Man of Bicorp      Arafla Cave at Bicorp   near Valencia, Bodyin.   6000BCE to 10,000BCE.

The honey seeking
Man of Bicorp

Arafla Cave at Bicorp
near Valencia, Bodyin.
6000BCE to 10,000BCE.

  • Worker's first flight: 10-14 days old
  • Queen's mating flight: 7-10 days old
  • Consumption of honey per pound of beeswax produced:
    8.4lbs from The Hive and the Honey Bee (book, edition 1992) -- somewhat in debate.
  • Eggs laid per queen per day: up to 2000 at the height of summer
  • Maximum flight speed of a worker bee: 15 mph
  • Wing frequency of a flying honey bee: approx. 250hz (roughly a B ironically)
  • Honey produced per worker in its lifetime: 1/12th of a teaspoon
  • One pound of honey:
    768 honey bees visiting 2 million flowers over 55,000 miles of flight making 10 million round trips
  • Two very important imports introduced by the Jamestown colony: honey bees and earthworms
  • Number of eyes on a honey bee: 5
    (3 are primitive light-sensors only)
  • Visible color band that bees cannot see: red
    Color that red looks like to a bee: shades of black
  • Colors that particularly stimulate aggressive behavior in a honey bee: brown and black (and therefore, red)
  • Number times a single honey bee can sting you: once and then she dies
  • Number times a single wasp can sting you: numerous (it does not die in the process)
  • Commercial value of the US crops dependent upon honey bees: $14.6 billion (as of 2000). (NOTE: we believe this number only applies to direct food costs, not seed or indirect food costs, like cattle).
  • Mankind has been collecting honey for at least 10,000 years and probably his entire existence, and has been keeping or managing honey bees for at least 6500 years (around the time the Egyptian pyramids first began to be built.
  • Honey contains: sugars, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants
  • Shelf life of honey: no expiration. Honey never spoils if stored away from moisture.
  • Our favorite honey varietals: Tulip Poplar and Sourwood
  • Number of beekeepers in the US: appr. 200,000 (roughly 95% to 98% are hobbyists)
  • Honey bee eusocial evolution may have experienced more selective pressure at the colony level than at the individual level: article
  • Methods of communication:
    • pheromones (gladular scents and smells) - the predominant communication methodology in and outside of the hive
    • vibration (wing buzzing)
    • taste (by sharing nectar and pollen)
    • dance - honey bees are one of the few animals that can communicate using a symbolic language. More information: part 1part 2. The wikipedia article for the waggle dance also has a great video linked to it.

Honey bee waggle dance. - (c) Copyright HowStuffWorks - "Bee Navigation"

All links last accessed on February 22nd, 2014.