Catchin’ the buzz (it’s about bees)

We’ve noticed our honey-making friends have been making their presence felt in this dear, verdant island (set in blue Caribbean sea).

We have therefore put our intensive research skills to the test and scoured the Interweb for some of the greatest bee-related factoids we could find. Most of these are probably true (but we might have made a few up by accident during the process. Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere, capische?)

A bee travels an average of 1,600 round trips in order to produce one ounce of honey; up to six miles per trip. To produce two pounds of honey, bees travel a distance equal to four times around the earth.

Honey bees visit about two million flowers to make one pound of honey.

During honey production periods, a bee’s life span is about six weeks.

Just a single hive contains approximately 40,000 to 45,000 bees.

Ironically, bees cannot spell.

Honeybees are the only insects that produce food for humans. This does not take into consideration what Anthony Bourdain eats in the Far East.

About eight pounds of honey is eaten by bees to produce a pound of beeswax.

The average hive temperature is 93.5 degrees (F).

Queens will lay almost 2,000 eggs a day at a rate of five or six a minute. Between 175,000 to 200,000 eggs are laid per year. Lucky eggs.

The speed at which honey bees fly is 15 miles per hour. Faster, if they’re in the back of a car, although they will appear to be still to other passengers. Still, it’s all relative.

The sole purpose of a drone bee is to mate with the queen bee. We are not mentioning Hugh Hefner for any particular reason here.

Bees from the same hive visit about 225,000 flowers per day. One single bee usually visits between 50 and 1,000 flowers a day, but can visit up to several thousand.

Honey bees have hair on their eyes.

Bees are slightly magnetic.

The band Lovecraft has an awesome song called Royal Jelly wherein frontman Craig Sinclair ponders the age-old philosophical question, ‘If I were a bee, what kind of bee would I be?’. Craig tells Weekender that he is a bee-thusiast. “I don’t think people respect them enough,” he opines raffishly, “considering they make the delicious substance that is honey. They’re magical in that regard – one of the few insects to bother doing anything productive (OK, so flies help things rot but that’s macabre and they’re a nuisance) as well as being furry and cute. And for the record, I’d be a Queen Bee.” Watch the video here:

A honey bee strokes its wings about 11,500 times a minute. They must love them a lot.

Bees can communicate with other bees by dancing. Their dance can alert other bees as to which direction and the distance nectar and pollen is located. Doesn’t work for us in Aqua Beach, but it won’t stop us trying.

Contrary to popular belief, the Cayman Buzz is a lovely red contacts directory and has nothing much to do with real bees (it’s actually compiled by specially trained ants).

Honey bees use the sun as a compass, which helps them navigate. They use the Compass to navigate the stormy seas of hard news (somewhat applicable to Weekender).

Pig Latin for bee is eebay.

One of the most successful fanzines of all time was called Big Massive Squashed Bees.

Apitherapy is the pseudo-medical use of honeybee products.

The Patron Saint of Beekepers is St. Ambrose of Milan. Weekender went to Milan in 2008 and found the people there to wear really quite repulsively garish clothes.

A bird called the bee eater in areas of Africa thinks that riding around on the backs of other animals is fun. Humans would never do anything like that.

The honey bee has to travel an average of 43,000 miles to collect enough nectar to make a pound of honey. Weekender thinks we might tell them that our local supermarkets stock a wide range of honey (or, if you prefer, agave nectar, which is boss).

The name Deborah means ‘stinging bee’ in Hebrew.

Bees around the world: Old English – béo; Old Norse – bý; Modern German – Biene; Dutch – bij; Lithuanian – bite; Polish – pszczola; Irish – bech; Welsh – begegyr; Republic of Clang – helovaschtingbasdad; Albanian – bletë; Asturian – abeya; Basque – erle; Blackfoot – naamóó; Czech – vèela; Ecuadorian Quechua – miqui chuspi; Esperanto – abelo; Finnish – mehiläinen; French – abeille.

Send your bee facts to [email protected],
where we are already waiting with our fingers poised on the ‘delete’ key.