Decrease Number of Honey Bees
Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant at SafeSourcing, Inc.
There has been a growing concern in the decrease number of honey bees due to pesticides killing them and parasites that get into the hives.
The global consumption of honey is due to exceed 2.8 million tons by 2024. This is largely driven by the growing consumer consumption preference of natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners. The health benefits of honey range from home remedies such as weight reduction, improved digestion, prebiotic support, acne cure, and a natural exfoliator. China is the largest producer and consumer of honey worldwide.
A few interesting bee facts:
- Honey bees have pockets in their legs to store pollen called corbiculae. By the end of the day these filled pockets will result in a weight increase of 15%.
- When it comes time for an older queen bee to be replaced, the worker bees know it and they build new queen cells in the hive. They load the new cells with healthy pupae and flood the cells with royal jelly. They “ball” the queen which means they cluster around her causing her body temperature to rise and she dies. There is only one queen bee per hive. If two are produced, they fight until there is only one survivor.
- Bees are cold blooded. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, they can’t fly. Honey bees do not sleep. They remain motionless at night to conserve energy for the next day.
- The drones’ job is to mate with the queen; however not with the queen in their hive. They travel to other hives. After they mate, they die. They represent 15% of the hive. When temperatures drop in the fall, the drones are kicked out.
- “Bearding” refers to a form of bees that hang out of the hive (or a cluster of bees) that allow the hive temperature to regulate when internal temperatures get too high.
We look forward to and appreciate your comments. For more information please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Representative.
Dorothea Benton Frank, Queen Bee, pp 409-411