Utah Beekeepers' Association

Serving and Representing Utah's Beekeepers Since 1892

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Association members are invited to submit a few paragraphs about a memorable or humorous beekeeping experience or to share your beekeeping wisdom. Submit your story (with photos if you have them) to the webmaster. They will be published here.
 
Honey Bee Trivia
  • The honey bee has been around for millions of years.
  • Honey bees, scientifically also known as Apis mellifera, are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators.
  • It is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
  • Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water; and it's the only food that contains "pinocembrin", an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
  • Honey bees have 6 legs, 2 compound eyes made up of thousands of tiny lenses (one on each side of the head), 3 simple eyes on the top of the head, 2 pairs of wings, a nectar pouch, and a stomach.
  • Honey bees have 170 odorant receptors, compared with only 62 in fruit flies and 79 in mosquitoes. Their exceptional olfactory abilities include kin recognition signals, social communication within the hive, and odor recognition for finding food. Their sense of smell was so precise that it could differentiate hundreds of different floral varieties and tell whether a flower carried pollen or nectar from meters away.
  • The honey bee's wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.
  • The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
  • A hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles, the equivalent of three orbits around the earth to collect 1 kg of honey.
  • It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee's flight around the world.
  • A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
  • The bee's brain is oval in shape and only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things and is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.
  • A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen. Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work.
  • The queen bee can live up to 5 years and is the only bee that lays eggs. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 2500 eggs per day.
  • Larger than the worker bees, the male honey bees (also called drones), have no stinger and do no work at all. All they do is mating.
  • Each honey bee colony has a unique odor for members' identification.
  • Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened and they die once they sting. Queens have a stinger, but they don't leave the hive to help defend it.
  • It is estimated that 1100 honey bee stings are required to be fatal.
  • Honey bees communicate with one another by "dancing".
  • During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.
You know you're a beekeeper when...
By John Caldeira, with contributions from many others.
  • The windshield of your vehicle has at least two yellow dots on it.
  • You have answers ready for questions about Africanized bees and the value of local honey in preventing allergies.
  • Year eagerly await the phone call from the post office asking you to please come pick up your bees.
  • You check out all the honey labels and prices at the supermarket.
  • You've gone through the supermarket checkout line buying nothing more than a big load of sugar, and maybe some Crisco.
  • You've estimated just how much money you spent to control mites.
  • You pick up matches at restaurants, even though you don't smoke.
  • Your friends and neighbors think you are the answer to every swarm and bees-in-the-wall problem. Then, there are the calls about wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets!
  • You are keenly aware of the first and last freezes of each winter.
  • There is propolis on the steering wheel of your vehicle and the bottom of your boots.
  • There is a bucket of something in your garage that can only be good for smoker fuel.
  • You are called "the Bee Man," or "the Bee Lady" by a lot of people who don't know your name.
  • You know the bloom period of more local flowers than the state horticulturist.
  • You welcome a rainy weekend if it will stimulate nectar production.
  • You don't mind driving home with a few honey bees inside your vehicle.
  • Your family and friends know exactly what they're going to get for Christmas.
  • You don't mow the lawn because the bees are working the weeds.
  • You drive down a road and find yourself evaluating the roadside flowers for their honey-producing potential.
  • You pull over and check the bees on the wildflowers just to see if they are your bees, and -- you can tell the difference.
  • You come home smelling like a camp fire, and you haven't been camping.
  • You saw Ulee's Gold and didn't think there were enough shots of the bees.
  • You overhear your 9-year-old daughter explaining to her friends how to tie a trucker's hitch.
  • The school principal calls to ask that you never again let your child take a drone tied with a thread to school for show and tell.
  • You never stop marveling at these wonderful creatures.
You know you're married to a beekeeper when...
  • You spend at least one day a week on your hands and knees with a sharp knife scraping wax and propolis off your kitchen floor.
  • You've ever used bee boxes as furniture in your house, for coffee tables, chairs, night stands, and storage boxes.
  • You mow around mountains of bee equipment that never seems to make it to the barn.
  • You plan weddings, child birth, surgery and funerals around queen-rearing season and honey extracting time.
  • When buying a new truck, your spouse checks weight loads and measures the bed to see how many hives he can fit in it.
  • You get stung by the bee that was clinging to your husband's bee suit when you picked it up to wash it.
 
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