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Some Basic Information About Bees
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It would be pointless for us to try and cover, in any depth, the fascinating world of the bee on this website.

We will therefore content ourselves in giving you 10 somewhat surprising facts about the honey bee, and then directing you to several other excellent sites which can provide a much greater insight into both honey bees, and their close cousins, the bumble bees.
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When clustered together in a hive, bees can survive in temperatures below minus 35 Centigrade for several weeks.

bee_bullet1.gif (1828 bytes) When "scout bees" are searching for food, they will follow a meandering path.  However they are able to return to the hive in a straight line (bee-line), due to their excellent navigating skills.
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A standard sized hive can contain over 60,000 bees.

bee_bullet1.gif (1828 bytes) In the summer, the average life expectancy of a worker bee is six weeks.  In winter conditions, it can be nearly six months.
bee_bullet1.gif (1828 bytes) A queen bee, on her mating flights, will mate with a dozen or so drones, but will then never mate again during her life. After mating she is capable of producing over 1,000 fertilised eggs a day for 3-5 years.
bee_bullet1.gif (1828 bytes) A drone (the male bee) cannot feed himself, but has to beg food from worker bees (females).
bee_bullet1.gif (1828 bytes) To make 1lb of honey, a colony of bees will collectively fly some 24,000 miles.
bee_bullet1.gif (1828 bytes) Bees have to consume approx 10 pounds of honey to produce one pound of beeswax
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A drone can father many daughters, but never any sons.  (This is because drones are produced from unfertilised eggs.)

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The egg of a future queen bee is no different from the egg of a worker bee.   It is the food (royal jelly) she is fed whilst still a larva, which determines that she will become a queen.


Want to know more about bees ?   Then try these sites.

A US site, but with a lot of useful information applicable to the UK www.main.org/cahbs/biology.htm
Site for children (but adults can still learn a lot !) www.bees4kids.org.uk/
General info on Bumble Bees http://hercules.users.netlink.co.uk/Bee.html
A US site devoted to all stinging insects, but with information on different types of bees and wasps. www.greensmiths.com/bees.htm
The website of the Hampshire Beekeeping Association.  Click on "About bees & Beekeeping".  Lots of general information. www.beetalk.org.uk
Information about anaphylactic shock.   www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/information/basic-facts.aspx

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