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Bee Fact or Fiction

Bee Fact or Fiction

| Sarah Allinson-Chorabik

FACT:  Only female bees can sting.

The stinger is a modified ovipositor… (a “tube like organ” found in many insects, usually for laying eggs). Male bees however, don't have one. It’s doubtful they miss it though -  most bee species are gentle, and only sting when provoked. Wasps can be much more aggressive.

FICTION: In a honeybee hive, the queen is replaced every year by a new bee.

A queen honey bee usually lives five years. When she gets sick or dies, the other females choose a baby successor with queen-like potential and feed her a special meal of pollen and natural secretion called “royal jelly.” She will then mate only once and rules her empire for the rest of her life.

FACT: Nectar will often contain caffeine  

It’s estimated that just over 50% of flowering plants have caffeinated nectar and bees tend to visit these flowers more frequently. 


FACT: Bees are categorized by the length of their tongues.

There are long-tongued bees and short-tongued bees. Specifically, the mouthpart segments within their tongues, “proboscides,” which they use to gather nectar.

FICTION: Honey Bees fly at about 5mph

It’s actually more around 12-15mph. They beat their wings more than 200 times per second.