Did you know National Honey Bee Day was earlier this month on August 16? And it appears there are good reasons to celebrate this year…it looks like bees are making a comeback when compared to earlier years. Yes—now that is GOOD NEWS!
Honey bees play an extremely important role in our ecosystem. They pollinate many of the fruits and vegetables we love to eat. Without them, our natural environment would suffer. And feeding our families and growing beautiful gardens would be challenging! Let’s see how much you know about this power pollinator. Here are a few fun facts about honey bees:
- The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
- A hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles, the equivalent of three orbits around the earth to collect 1 kg of honey.
- It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.
- A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
- The bee’s brain is oval in shape and only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things and is able to make complex calculations on distance traveled and foraging efficiency. (Source: Benefits of honey)
Good News on Bee Health
It looks like there are 4 specific areas of “Good News” when it comes to bees’ health:
- It appears honey bee populations are stable or increasing globally;
- After a long winter, hives on two continents were stronger than in previous years;
- The President started an initiative to find ways to improve honey bee health;
- New public/private partnerships are addressing forage and nutrition challenges.
But this is just a start. More work remains to improve the health and safety of this much-needed insect, including issues such as lack of food, heavy workload, and the honey bee’s main nemesis, the deadly Varroa mite. This nasty bug acts just like a giant tick and can ultimately destroy an entire colony…yikes! Honey bees are vital to our agriculture and urban landscapes, and it is important that they stay strong. A big thank-you to the Bayer Bee Care Program, a division of Bayer CropScience, for working to keep our honey bees healthy. We need our honey bees! Source: Pest Management Professional