Bees are known for the sweet honey they produce, just as they are popular the world over for their perfectly constructed beehives and for effectively pollinating crops. But there are simple so much more about these buzzing small flying animals than that. The following are the ten amazing facts about bee that you may not be aware of.
1. They sting, but it has benefits
There is no doubt that a bee sting can be a very unpleasant experience. Due to recent medical studies though some people are starting to benefit from bee stings. Melittin is a bee venom that has been found to have the ability to kill HIV. Being stung by bees is also considered as a good alternative treatment and is called apitherapy. This alternative medicine asserts that bee venom has therapeutic significance in providing treatment for serious treatment. Bee venom is deemed to be a viable option than taking dangerous commercially available pharmaceutical medications, which more often than not have bad side effects or wouldn’t really work as intended.
Apitherapy has been used for centuries as folk medicinal remedy in some countries and the main idea is to make good use of the honeybee venom’s healing power in alleviating serious physical conditions such as; lupus, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. One woman from Vermont actually claimed that apitherapy cured her from Lyme disease.
Apitherapy may not have the distinctive capacity to cure all illnesses or to miraculously keep sick people well, but at least, it can keep the disease effectively at bay. The additional benefit is that it does not impose harmful side effects. The sting itself is the only pain one will suffer from, and it will be a temporary one.
2. Bees work harder than humans
Bees literally work to death. There are the scout bees whose job is to search for possible sources of food and they are the adventurous bees. The soldier bees have the duty as security guards from the day they were born to the time they die. The middle-aged bees turn out to be undertakers, and their main function is to remove the dead ones from the bee hive; their brain pattern obliges them to do that. The most incredible type of bees is the regular honeybees. These are the ones that have multiple tasks to do during their lifetime and the ability to modify their brain chemistry prior to getting into a new job.
Making honey is what they do best and bees work hard at it by flying for more than 55 thousand miles to visit around two million flowers just to generate a pound of precious honey. One single bee can visit up to 100 flowers in every trip just to take pollen and nectar back to their hives.
If such activity is required to a human, the whole process will not be possible. Humans work hard, but certainly not as hard as these stinging insects.
3. Bees have brains that can defy time
Bees are just like any other life forms on Earth, they age. But if an aging bee is required to do a job performed by a younger bee, its brain is going to cease from aging. Their brains will actually go in reverse. It’s like they have to think young in order to fulfill the tasks that they used to do when they were younger. If this phenomenon happens to a person, it’s like dementia will never be a possibility.
It’s like bees have discovered the most effective ways of turning back time. In a study conducted, young bees have been taken out from the hive and when the older bees arrived home and found that there are no young bees to take care of the hive, they decided to perform the tasks. They have the obligation to keep the colony alive, and their ages have been taken for granted and their bodies magically become as strong as when they were younger.
These research findings offer good suggestions that being socially active could be the best way of slowing down age-related dementia.
4. Bees are changing modern medicine
In their attempt to reinforce their beehives, the bees make use of a resin from evergreen and poplar trees called propolis – which is beehive glue that they use in pasting together their materials for their hives. Bees make use of it as caulk, but humans make use of it in fighting off fungi, bacteria and viruses. According to researches, propolis from beehives can relieve acne, cancer sores, cold sores, sore throat, herpes, eczema, and cavities.
Propolis is also being used in manufacturing different products such as; cosmetic creams, chewing gum, ointments and lozenges. It is also under scientific testings as a possible tooth enamel hardener and dental sealant.
Propolis has been proven effective as treatments for minor wounds, infections, burns, genital herpes, dental pains, mouth sores and inflammatory diseases.
Use of propolis though is not advised for people with hyper sensitivity reactions to honey and other bee products or to bee stings. Frequent use of propolis can lead to negative bodily reactions like redness, swelling, burning, fever, fluid collection and eczema.
5. Bees have the unique ability to recognize human faces
This ability is not born into them; rather they can be trained to be experts on this so long as they are successfully tricked into recognizing human faces as peculiarly shaped flowers. They can actually be taught to makes out human faces in the same way that humans do. They take different parts and then they arranged these features in recognizing and distinguishing one human face from another.
This discovery of bees’ unusual ability is definitely a very surprising one, as it can be very difficult to imagine the bees managing this incredible feat with their brains sized like microdot.
6. Bees have personalities
Bees are not drones; they have distinctive personalities that tell them apart from each other. There are thrill seeker bees and there are some that can be more timid. There are also bees that are agitated and pessimistic, and these findings may point to the fact that these insects have feelings. They also prove that bees do not have what everyone thinks as interchangeable characteristics and they are not just created to serve their queen.
It is a fact that there are honeybees that are eager to do tasks that are designated to other bees, but could be due to the differences in personalities.
A bee scout, for instance is not your typical working bee. Scout bees are the thrill-seeking bees and they get the rush by searching for a new place to live once the colony starts to outgrow the current hive. When the need arises, these scouts (usually a little than five percent of the colony) are going to take off and scout around for new digs. Eventually, these scouts are more likely to turn into food scouts. Researchers fondly call these bees are the ones that are always willing to go that extra mile for the colony.
It has been discovered likewise that scout bees are extremely different from other bees, because their brains function differently as well. A scout bee’s brain is wired in responding well to new and novel experiences. While the timid working bees have
7. Bees get buzzed from cocaine and caffeine
Humans get additional rush from caffeine and the same thing is true with bees. It has been discovered that when nectar is laced with caffeine, the bees will be able to remember where that flower is located. This means there is a significant increase of chances that the bees will find that flower again.
Cocaine gives the high to humans, and it does the same to bees. Bees are great dancers and they communicate well with their dancing prowess. But once these insects get high with cocaine, they will dance so differently that may communicate an exaggerated and overemphasized information about the food they found.
8. Bees are the most economical nature builders
It has been argued, discussed and accepted that honeycombs are the most practical and economical structures on Earth, and this is because they utilize the smallest amount of wax. Not only that, a honeycomb is also a perfect hexagon.
This perfection has been marveled at by scientists and for many centuries, none of them was able to describe how it clearly works. British and Chinese engineers have worked hard at trying to figure out how it is possible and they have found out that the cells starts off in circles, most probably molded as the shape of the body of a bee. From that circle that hexagonal pattern will be formed within seconds.
It is indeed an incredible feat to be able to build something as perfect as a honeycomb. And to imagine that bees have really small brains, but they been successfully building their cells for many centuries now.
9. Bees have serial killers instincts
Bees hunt down foods in the same way that serials killer s commit their crimes. Food hunting and serial killing are activities that are both performed successfully close to home. Bees have this unique ability to create a buffer zone – a specific space within their neighborhood where they will not forage. The main idea is to reduce the risks of parasites and predators locating their nests.
This bee characteristic is very much similar to the criminal profile of a serial killer. Most murders committed by these criminals are discovered to have taken place near where they actually live, the not in areas that are directly surrounding the house.
If bees are concerned about the parasites and the predators finding where they forage, serial killers on the other hand are afraid of committing crimes where someone they know might be witness the crime.
10. Bees are job creators
It has been proven that bees create jobs for the humans. They produce honey, a very precious commodity that needs to be harvested and processed. In American alone, around 280 million pounds of honey are consumed every year. A beekeeper is needed to take care of the hives and to harvest the honey. There are people working for the entire honey processing, and this proves that jobs are being created just by producing edible honey alone. Large companies that produce commercial honey are employing thousands of people, and these factories can be found all over the world.
Bees also pollinate crops. This is another proof that bees are badly needed. With the crops pollinated by bees, harvesting them requires human intervention. These crops will also need to be processed before the final product can be served on the dinner table. From the time the crops are planted, to the time they are harvested, processed, packed, delivered, sold, cooked/prepared and served, thousands of people are given the chance to earn money.
Without bees, there will be significant decline in food production and people will grow hungry, but not extinct. There are still some plants that do not require bees in pollination. These plants include; bamboo, rice, corn, wheat, barley and rye. Birds, butterflies and the wind are also pollinators. But bees are still very important because it is a simple fact that the plants they pollinate are needed for human consumption. The world may still have green grass, but there will be no honey to sweeten life if bees get extinct.
In a sense, it can be concluded that bees are very much like humans. They have personalities, and they have distinct emotions. They also work hard – but definitely harder than humans. They hunt for places where they can build their homes and find food. They also have leaders – their queen. There are soldiers, scouts and workers. They may have smaller brains but they have the unique ability to turn back time. They also can be taught to do things that are unique to humans, like recognizing human faces. So, the next time you consume honey, take a few seconds to appreciate how these little, active and non-tiring creatures have worked hard just to produce them.