Monday, November 22, 2010

Fact File: Honey and Bees: Series 1

Here is my first attempt at Vonny's Did you Know series.

This is all about the honey bee.

I'm pretty much going to type that out, as this is not quite a good idea writing over patterned paper.

Bees and Honey Fact File:
Did you know?

  1. Honey is 25% sweeter than sugar.
  2. Honey is the only food that never spoils, it does, however, ferment.
  3. Honey is the only food produced by insects.
  4. The antioxidant called 'pinocembrin' is only found in honey.
  5. Honey was found in King Tut's tomb.
  6. The term "honeymoon" derived from drinking mead (honey wine) for a month (moon) after weddings.
  7. Honey was used right up until WWII for medicinal purposes when antibiotics were introduced in the 1940s.
  8. The life expectancy of a bee is 38 days.
  9. An average colony of  60,000 bees contain one mature queen and approximately 100 drones.
  10. Each worker bee functions in the roles of cleaner, nurse, stores, repairer, guard, and finally scout (forager) during their short life span.
  11. Each new job that a bee performs is signalled by a change in its body chemistry. For example, the bee has special pharyngeal or milk glands which are located in front of the brain. When these glands enlarge, the bee assumes its second identity; that of a nurse. As a hive is constructed in an hexagonal pattern, as a 'nurse' the worker bee begins with the oldest larvae in the hive. It feeds them and continues along the cells of eggs, working its way to younger larvae. Its milk glands will degenerate and it can no longer work as a 'nurse'. When forager bees return from the field the nectar is transferred to a worker bee who is in its third stage of development.
  12. The bee has a built in tool which works as a wiper to clean its eyes of pollen.
  13. The bees are a great example of co-operation and efficiency. If the hive is damaged, the bees change their responsibilities as if in a civil emergency. The secret is contained in the message of the honey the bees pass among themselves. Each bee contributes a distinct glandular secretion to the honey according to the function it performs. If one secretion is missing, a moaning sound travels throughout the hive. All the bees throb as though they were afflicted. This is their signal to adapt and change their roles.
  14. When the scout bee returns to the hive it brings a sample of the taste of a flower for other bees to taste.
  15. The bee then communicates back to the other bees in a body motion to indicate distance. The rate of a "tail wagging" motion is in direct proportion to the distance of the nectar. 
  16. The bees use the sun as a reference point to signal the direction of the nectar source from the hive. The bee will point its body vertically or downward position to convey angles. If this directional information is not correct the bees will die if they don't reach their destination as they only carry enough honey (which is their fuel) for that journey, unless they locate another glucose source; if they carry too much honey they will not have enough room for more nectar.

No comments:

Post a Comment