Honey Bee Facts for Kids
Have you ever been stung by a bee? Do you know what kind of bee it was? From carpenter bees, to honey bees, and male drone bees there are so many different types of bees. In this blogpost, we will focus on honey bees. Honey bees are amazing creatures! They are known for their hard work, their delicious honey, and their important role in pollination. So, grab a teaspoon of honey and get ready to learn with these honey bee facts for kids. You can download a FREE BEE ACTIVITY PACKET at the bottom of the blog post.
Honey Bee Colonies
1. Honey bees are actually a type of bee that live in colonies. These colonies can have up to 60,000 members of the hive! Those are some large colonies!
2. The colony is made up of three types of bees: the queen, the drones, and the workers. Queen honey bees are female bees responsible for laying all the eggs. Typically, there is only one queen bee per each colony and they are usually the largest bee with larger eyes and a longer body. The drones are male bees and their only job is to mate with a new queen. The workers are sterile females and they do all the work in the hive including collecting nectar, making honey, and guarding the hive. What job do you think you would be best at?
3. Have you ever heard of colony collapse disorder? Colony collapse disorder occurs when the majority of worker bees disappear and the only bee left is the fertile queen. Wiping out the entire colony takes away important pollinators and future queens, which can leave bee populations in distress.
Honey Bee Facts for Kids – Characteristics of Honey Bees
4. Honey bees have five eyes! Three small eyes on the top of their head and two large eyes on the sides of their head.
5. The average honeybee is about 15 mm long, although the single queen bee is usually larger than the rest of the bee colony.
6. Honey bees have pairs of wings that can help them fly up to 15 miles per hour. Honey bees fly around 50,000 miles to make just one pound of honey! That means a honey bee would have to the travel from the United States to Australia ten times just to produce two pounds of honey. Wow!
The Different Types of Honey Bees
7. There are three main types of honey bees in the world: the European honey bee, the Africanized honey bee, and the Asian honey bee.
8. The European honey bee is the most common type of honey bee found in North America.
9. The Africanized honey bee is a hybrid of the European honey bee and the African Honey Bee. These bees are more aggressive than European honey bees and they have spread throughout South and Central America.
10. The Asian honey bee is native to Southeast Asia. These bees are not as aggressive as the Africanized honey bees but they are known to invade bee hives and steal the honey.
Honey Bee Facts for Kids – Honey Bee Behavior
11. Bee activities include working, pollinating, reproducing, and communicating. That’s right! Honey bees use a special dance to communicate with each other. This is known as the waggle dance. The waggle dance tells the other bees where to find food or water.
The Hunting Process
12. A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a single trip out of the hive. That’s a lot of flowers for just one bee!
13. Honey bees have a long tongue that they use to collect nectar from flowers.
Honey Bee Facts for Kids – Making the Honey
14. Honey bees are able to make honey by turning the nectar they collect into glucose and fructose. This process is called “honeycomb construction” and it results in sweet honey.
The Importance of Honey Bees
15. Honey bees are very important for our ecosystem because they help pollinate plants. Pollination is when the bee collects pollen from the male parts of a flower and transfers it to the female parts of another flower. This helps the plant to grow and produce fruits and vegetables.
16. Honey bees are very important to the agricultural industry. In the United States, it is estimated that honey bees pollinate about $15 billion worth of crops each year! Without bees, agriculture in the United States would become depleted and much less profitable.
Honey Bee Facts for Kids – Why do Honey Bees Sting?
17. Honey bees are not aggressive by nature but they will sting you if they feel threatened. A honey bee’s stinger is barbed which means that it gets stuck in your skin when they sting you. This also rips their abdomen open and they die soon after. Honey bees are only able to sting you once because of this.
18. To avoid getting stung, some people recommend standing still when a bee flies by you. This will prevent them from feeling threatened and you can both continue on with daily activities, which for them, is likely searching for nectar.
Thank You Bees!
When working together in large numbers, bees can harvest nectar from several hundred flowers a day and produce pounds of honey. This process is certainly not easy, though, so the next time you find yourself enjoying a spoonful of honey or some honey toast, make sure you thank the young worker bees for their hard work.
WANT MORE FUN FACTS FOR KIDS?
Check out these fun facts for kids here and browse all the other topics at the bottom of the post.
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