Bee Facts

• Some beekeepers in Alberta and Saskatchewan regularly harvest over 300 lbs (136 kg) of honey per colony. National and Provincial information can be found here:  http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/pick-choisir?lang=eng&p2=33&id=0010007

• It takes one colony of honey bees (around 30,000 bees) to pollinate an acre of fruit trees. Pollination success increases if there are more honey bees present at the time of peak flowering.

• A colony of honey bees in early spring can have approximately 10,000-15,000 bees.

• A colony of honey bees in summer has 50-80,000 bees. A honey bee flies up to 24 km /hr or 15 mph and its wings beat 200 times per second or 12,000 beats / minute.

• A normal colony of honey bees contains only one QUEEN who may lay 2,000 eggs per day during her busy season
there may be 60,000 or more WORKER bees (undeveloped females ) who do all the work. There will also be several hundred DRONES (Male bees).

• A worker bee gathers in her entire life 0.8 gram (0.0288 ounce) of honey.

• It requires 556 worker bees to gather a pound of honey.

• Bees fly more than once around the world to gather a pound of honey.

• The average life of a honey bee during the working season is about six weeks.

• Nectar as gathered by the bee contains about 70% water (Honey is about 17% water).

• Bees remove the excess moisture from nectar by rapidly fanning their wings over the open cells in the hive which circulates fresh air into the hive and the moist air out. .

• Honey ranges in colour from water white through to dark brown/black.  Most Canadian honey is white in colour, which has a mild but sweet taste..

• The value of bees pollinating fruits, crops, vegetables and legumes is almost 20 times the value of honey produced (over $4.4 billion in Canada)

Bee Trivia

Q. How many bees in a hive?
A. 25,000 to 100,000 depending on the time of year

Q. How many flowers must a bee tap to make 454 g (one pound) of honey?
A. Two million (here’s the calculation)

Q. How far does a hive of bees fly to bring you 454g (one pound) of honey?
A. Over 55,000 miles (here’s the calculation)

Q. How much honey does the worker bee make in her lifetime?
A. 0.8g (1/10 teaspooon)

Q. How fast does a honeybee fly?
A. About 24 km/hr or 15 mph

Q. What is the name given to wine made with fermented honey?
A. Mead

Q. How long have bees been producing honey from flowering plants?
A. About 10-20 million years

Q. What Scotch liqueur is made with honey?
A. Drambuie

Q. How many wings does a bee have?
A. Four

Q. How many sides does each honeycomb cell have?
A. Six

Q. How many flowers does a honey bee visit during one collection trip?
A. 50-100

Q. How do honeybees communicate with each other?
A. By dancing. Honeybees do a dance which alerts other bees where nectar and pollen is located. The dance explains direction and distance.

Q. What is the per capita consumption of honey in Canada?
A. One kilo (2.2 pounds) per year.