EDUCATION

OUR AMAZZZZING BEES

 

We aim to provide education on bees, they are so important to our livelihood, they help to pollinate most of the crops we eat (two thirds in fact) and many that feed farm livestock.

But bee populations are under threat because of destruction of their natural habitat.Intensive farming practices, and pests and diseases are just some of the complex reasons driving a decline in both  the number and diversity of bees.

Have you read about how you can make a bee-friendly garden yet?

Bees are fantastic flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour .

Bees don’t want to sting you! They will only sting because they feel threatened, they will then lose their stinger and sadly die.

An average hive can hold around 50,000 bees.

The type of flower the bees take their nectar from determines the honey’s flavour.

A honey bee has two pairs of wings that can beat 250 times per second.

The average worker bee lives for 5-6 weeks and during this time, she’ll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.

Foraging honey bees have to fly about 55,000 miles to make around 500g of honey.

There are over 20,000 different species of bee, found on every continent except Antartica.

The Hidden Beauty of Pollination

Pollination: it’s vital to life on Earth but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film “Wings of Life,” inspired by the vanishing of one of nature’s primary pollinators, the honeybee.

Ted Talk by Louie Schwartzberg

Honey bees live in hives (or colonies). The members of the hive are divided into three types:

Image: www.waikatobeekeepers.org.nz

Drones

  • Drones are the male bees.
  • The drones purpose is to mate with the new queen.
  • Drones have bigger eyes to help them find the queen bee.
  • Several hundred drones live in each hive during the spring and summer. But come winter, when the hive goes into survival mode, the drones are kicked out!

The Queen Bee

  • One queen runs the whole hive. Her job is to lay the eggs so that she can spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. She produces chemicals that guide the behaviour of the other bees.
  • A queen bee can produce up to 2,000 eggs a day. Fertilised eggs become females and unfertilised eggs become males.
  • The queen can live up to 5 years. When she dies the workers select a new larvae and feed it a special “Royal Jelly”, this helps the larvae to grow in to a new fertile Queen!

Worker Bees

  • Workers are all female.
  • A worker bee has many roles; to forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beating their wings.
  • Workers are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside the hive.
  • Worker bees only live for 5-6 weeks.

The Waggle Dance

Honeybees are known to communicate in a dance language called the waggle dance. It is an important part of how they provide food for the bee community.

The dance mimics the extraordinary way honey bees communicate and celebrates bees’ crucial role in pollination and food security.

The direction the bee moves in relation to the hive indicates direction of the food source (pollen or nectar); if it moves vertically, the direction to the food source is directly towards the sun. The duration of the waggle part of the dance signifies the distance from the hive.

The Waggle Dance Challenge is a project initiated by the Rotary Club of Canterbury in conjunction with Rotarians for Bees and the Wheen Bee Foundation .

Find  out more about the Global Waggle Dance Challenge here.

What do you call a bee that works for the government?

A pollentician!

What is small, black and yellow, and drops things?

A fumble bee

When do bees get married?

When they find their honey!

Where do worker bees go on holiday?

Sting-apore!

What do bees like with their sushi?

Wasa-bee!

What do bees chew?

Bumble gum!

Why do bee’s hum?

Because the can’t remember the words!

What did the bee say to the flower?

Hey Bud!

What’s your favourite pollinator joke?

We’d love to hear it!