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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

For Kids > I'm Alive > Honey bees Honey bees

HONEY BEE TRIVIAbeeswax candles

Here are some facts about honey bees that you may not know.

Honey bees are the backbone of US agriculture. Did you know that:

  • Honey bees pollinate 1/3 of the human diet.
  • Honey bees pollinate 50 different US crops valued at over $20 billion.
  • Honey bees pollinate $2.5 billion of California's almond production.
  • Honey bees produce $150 million worth of honey and beeswax in the US.

Honey bees are a very interesting insect. Did you know:

  • The average honey bee can fly at a speed of 15 miles per hour.

  • An average worker honey bee makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

  • Honey bees need to tap 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.

  • It would take about 1 once of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the earth.

  • Honey bees are not aggressive by nature, and will not sting unless protecting their hive or are unduly provoked.

  • Honey bees dance to communicate the direction and distance of nectar sources. The round dance is performed by bees that find food with 100 meters of the hive. The wag-tail dance is performed by bees that find food more than 100 meters from the hive.
    Honey bee
  • Honey bees nest/hive is made out of beeswax. By eating honey, worker bees can produce beeswax. The beeswax is formed into 6-sided wax comb that the bees store honey and pollen in. It is also where the egg, larvae and pupa stage of the honey bee is found.  

     
  • Honey bees go to flowers for nectar and pollen.  Honey and pollen is their source of food. Pollen is the protein, while honey is a source of carbohydrates.  Both pollen and honey will also have some minerals, vitamins and enzymes. 

  • To make honey, bees drop the collected nectar into the honeycomb and then evaporate it by fanning their wings.  Once enough moisture/water has been evaporated the bees then cap over the honey. 

  • Honey bees are not native to North America.  They were brought over by the early settlers from Europe.

    honey comb
  • An estimated 3.2 million honey bee colonies are in the United States.

  • There over 200,000 beekeepers maintain honey bee colonies within the United States.

  • Utah is known as the Beehive State.

  • South Dakota, North Dakota, Florida and California are known as the biggest honey-producing states.

  • Honey does not spoil. If iState beekeepert crystallizes in the container, just put in a hot water bath for it to become a liquid again. Do not heat it in the microwave, this could burn the honey.

  • The fructose in honey makes it sweeter than sugar. At 21 calories a teaspoon, it is 1 ½ sweeter than sugar. 

  • Honey makes baked goods brown faster and improves shelf life.

  • Honey varies in color from almost clear to very dark. The different color and taste is dependent on the floral source and its location. Clover honey is light and very sweet while Buckwheat honey is a dark and strong tasting honey. 

  • Beekeepers in Indiana harvest an average of 60 to 80 pound of honey per hives. The beekeeper also needs to make sure the bee hive has 60 to 80 pound of stored honey for the winter.