Six things you didn't know about bees
10th April 2023
Everyone knows that bees make delicious honey but they are far more important than that – without them, life as we know it simply would not exist.
- A hive needs 20-30 lb of honey to survive an average winter, but the bees are capable of collecting up to 60 lb, given the space – which is what beekeepers encourage
- Bees have been producing honey in the same way for over 150 million years, and the first record of people keeping bees was in Spain about 6000 BC.
- Honeybees have five eyes in the centre of their head: two large compound eyes and three smaller ocelli eyes. They can see in colour and are sensitive more to the blue end of the light spectrum and into ultraviolet. Flowers reflect large amounts of ultraviolet light and will appear very bright to a bee.
- The type of honey made by the bees changes according to the type of foliage and flowers available to the bees in the area near their hives. Honey can be hard-set, clear and liquid or have a jelly consistency depending on the crops that have been pollinated.
- A honeybee only stings under two conditions: to protect the colony or when frightened.
- Bees will fly up to three miles from their hives to collect pollen from hedgerows, fruit trees and wildflowers