Miscellaneous facts about bees

Sorry, this has nothing to do with reading, or writing, or anything else this blog is supposed to be about. I just read an amazing piece about bees in the latest issue of the New Internationalist, and before I throw the magazine I wanted to record some amazing facts.

  • To make a pound of honey, a bee flies about 55,000 miles, equivalent to going around the world twice. It visits 10,000 flowers on more than 500 foraging trips.
  • A single bee-hive can produce as much as 1kg of honey every day.
  • 500g of honey represents the sweetness of about 10 million blossoms.
  • Turkey is the world’s 2nd-biggest honey producer – beekeeping provides an income for 180,000 families.
  • Bees communicate with each other by dancing. A series of circular runs with frequent changes in direction signals to other bees that there’s a new food source nearby – the rate of change increases with the quality of the nectar. For food further away, they use a complicated figure-8 which shows the distance of the food and its direction in relation to the sun. The Austrian scientist Karl von Frisch was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1973 for discovering this.

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