Girl Bees Run the World
Written by Madison Lawson.
Have you ever been stung by a bee? Maybe when you were a kid, running through fields and picking flowers, you looked down and saw a black and yellow bee perched on your arm. The next second pain blossoms under your skin and the bee disappears. You cry and your mom puts honey or baking soda or toothpaste on the tender skin and maybe you have a fear of bees for the next ten years.
Then you find out that the bee probably died after stinging you and maybe you thought “karma” or maybe you cried over the loss of the bee. But did you know honey bees are the only bees to die after stinging, since they can’t pull their stinger back out and have to leave behind not just the stinger, but a large part of their abdomen? Solitary bees and bumblebees don’t die after stinging.
And yes, bee stings can hurt, but what would hurt even more is having a third of all your food disappear.
Pollinators such as bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food. Not to mention how they sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. They don’t just give us the delicious honey for toast and smoothies, they’re responsible for so much more. For example, they’re the only insect that produces food ingested by humans. And they go mostly unseen, without recognition, and sometimes met with violence.
The truth is, bees are incredibly important to our earth and our lives and yet they are increasingly in danger of extinction.
In an effort to evaporate some of the mystery around bees, here are some amazing facts about these life-giving insects.
There are multiple different types of bees, including Bumblebees, Carpenter bees, and Honey bees. The latter makes the beloved honey that currently lives in your pantry and they had to gather nectar from two million flowers and fly about 90 thousand miles to make one pound of it.
Talk about a hard worker. An average bee will fly about six miles, going as fast as 15 miles an hour, and visit 50 to 100 of flowers every trip to only make a teaspoon and a half of honey in its lifetime. Consider how many of them it took to make the tiny jar sitting on your shelf. They put a lot of love and effort into that treat!
Bees are smarter than you may originally think. Yes, their brains are tiny, about the size of a sesame seed, but they still have the ability to make calculations more complex than I could handle without a calculator. They do this to figure out the distance traveled and the efficiency of foraging. It’s all a part of their master plan to become the world-renowned master villains.
(Jokes, they just want to pollinate and make honey in peace.)
Do you ever think texting, talking, or calling is boring? Bees must have too, because honey bees communicate with one another by dancing. One of the best dances is known as the waggle dance, which is used by a bee to tell her buddies about a good source of nectar she found.
New T.V. show idea – Dancing with the Bees.
And it’s always a dance party, because one colony consists of anywhere from 20 thousand to 60 thousand honey bees with only one queen. And all the worker bees are female, living about 6 weeks and doing all the work. All the boy bees, the drones, do is mate. They don’t even have stingers.
Obviously, girls run the world (or beehive) here. Especially the queen, because she can live up to five years and her sole job is to lay eggs, sometimes up to 2500 a day.
You know the buzzing sound you hear a bee makes? That’s not a type of communication – remember the dancing? – it’s actually the sound made by their wings which beat up to 11,400 times every minute.
Not to mention how they sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources or the facts and benefits of honey and pollination.
Despite being some of the coolest insects known to man, they’re still in danger, which puts us in danger too. Here are some things you can do to help save the bees:
Protect their habitats by planting bee gardens or not destroying hives when you see them. If the hive is encroaching on your personal space, there are professionals who can safely and quickly relocate the hive so everyone is happy. You and the bees.
Avoid harmful pesticides that endanger their lives. There are organic pesticides you can use to treat your garden, spraying at night for extra consideration, and even some that are helpful to the bees.
Take care of trees – bees need those as well.
Create a bee bath. Do this by filling a shallow bird bath, small dish, or bowl with clean water and arranging pebbles or stones inside so they stick out of the water. Bees will land on the stones and drink the water while taking a break from those long flights and hard days of work. Plus, it’s really cute to watch the bees hang out on the rocks.
Build homes for loner bumblebees. Most bees that aren’t honey bees are solitary creatures.
Start a honey bee hive for our favorite extroverted bees.
Support your local bees and beekeepers. Buy local honey and beeswax products and see if you can support them in other ways!
Sponsor a hive.
And finally, share this article!
Let’s stop the bee ignorance and take our earth back into our hands. Good luck out there, explorers.