Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Day 211 - Buzzily Busy Bees

Honey Bee on a Cotoneaster plant outside my house
Hi all today's Day 211 and the Great British Bee Counhas just finished and it received a huge 104,000 counts. While this might sound a lot it is needed as there has been quite a decline in our bee population and we need to know what is happening to their population across the country. The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust has a great site and thinks that the main reason is down to the changes in farming methods and that there are a lot less wild flowers around now which our bees depend on. Not only has this led to numbers reducing but also two species of bee to become extinct in the UK. More on this later.

Already you'll know that this post is about bees. I see them in a lot of places but I admit I am a little afraid of them. :'( But I know they only sting if they feel they are being attacked and so it`s best to stay as calm as possible around them...

I will mostly be focusing on Honeybees in today's post and there might be more parts to this post.

So, here are the facts:

  • The most obvious fact about Honeybees is that, well, they make honey. They do this through a relatively complicated process which you can see below:
  1. They firstly visit some flowers and collect a sticky, sugary liquid called nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues.
  2. They store it in a place called their honey stomach which is actually different to their normal stomach.
  3. When they have a full load they fly back to the hive where they pass it to other worker bees who chew it for around half an hour.
  4. It keeps getting passed from bee to bee until it eventually becomes honey. They then store it in honeycombs made of wax.
  5. Finally, when the honey is ready, they seal the cell with a wax lid to keep it clean.
  • Honeybees really dedicate their lives to making honey even though they hardly make any. A single Honeybee makes only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.
  • A Honeybee's wings beat around 200 times per second! For one it makes a lovely zwerring (Springwatch viewers will know) sound and it also allows them to fly as fast as 15 miles per hour and they can fly around 6 miles!
  • It would only take 1 ounce of honey to fuel a bee's trip around the whole world but this could never happen because, as I mentioned above, they can only fly 6 miles.
  • The Great British Countryside. Rolling green fields, crops of livestock. But was it always this way? Until recently it used to bee (;-) much more colourful. It came erumpent (Springwatch again ;-) with wild flowers yearly but as we now have more pressure on the land there are much more crops and much less wild flowers.
  • What's the result of this? The flowers are food to bees and as there's a lot less, there are less bees and two species actually became extinct because of this.
  • To save them you can do a number of things like putting sugary water in a bowl out for them and planting precious wild flowers in your garden as well as not worrying if a bee is around you because if you panic and wave your arms about they might think they`re being threatened and so might sting you and then they die  :-(
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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