They are crucial to growing many of our favorite and healthiest foods as they move pollen from plant to plant, pollinating more than a hundred fruits and vegetables including strawberries, potatoes and apples.
1. Bees like to ‘waggle dance’
Bees can communicate and make decisions by dancing.
Eventually, the dynamics of the waggle dancing causes about 20 to 30 bees to agree on the best nest site, and they communicate their decision to the rest of the swarm by making high-pitched sounds and by buzzing their wings among the other bees.
2. Bees can use tools
Honeybees in Vietnam and other parts of Asia are threatened by predatory species of giant hornet that attack bee colonies, killing the adults defending the nest and preying on the young bees. In particular, the voracious hornet species Vespa soror is capable of obliterating the hive within hours.
“Fecal spotting stands out as extraordinary for several reasons. It marks the first report of honey bees of any species foraging for materials that are not derived from plants or water-based fluids. It is also the first clear-cut example of honey bees using a tool in nature,” the study said.
3. Bee poop nearly caused a Cold War confrontation
4. Bumblebees get hangry
Plants produce dazzling flowers laden with nectar to attract pollinators but what’s an impatient, hungry bumblebee to do when those flowers haven’t yet bloomed?
For bees, the pollen is a protein source they need to raise their young.
However, warmer temperatures as a result of the climate crisis means that bees are waking up earlier after hibernating for the winter to find the flowers they need for food haven’t yet bloomed. Flowering time, which relies on exposure to light, is less affected by climate change. This creates a mismatch that can leaves bees short of food early in spring.
5. Humans have been exploiting honeybees for thousands of years
Honey was likely a rare treat in a prehistoric diet that had few sweet foods, and it could have had medicinal uses. Beeswax could have been used to make pots waterproof or as a glue.