It’s the Bee's Knees! 12 Surprising Facts About Bees and Honey
Updated: May 12
Did you know that September is the National Honey Month in the United States AND the Bee Aware Month in New Zealand? Obviously, as a team of busy bees, we believe these national occasions should actually be celebrated worldwide! 🥳
When creating Honeygain, we didn’t pick our name and mascot at random: a beehive where thousands (if not millions!) of bees join their efforts to reach a common goal is a perfect metaphor for a crowdsourced web network. In addition to that, bees are crucial for the ecosystem – and beekeeping has been prevalent around the world since antiquity!
Did we spike your curiosity? If so, you’re in luck – on the eve of the National Honey Month and the Bee Aware Month, we’re sharing our favourite trivia on all types of bees, honey, and Honeygain!
Bees and honey don’t always go hand in hand
There are around 20,000 types of bees worldwide, and just seven of them are honey bees. The commercial beekeepers typically have Apis mellifera in their apiaries – and in Latin, mellifera literally means honey-bearing. But did you know bees aren’t the only ones that produce honey? The Mexican honey wasp does, too – however, they visit different types of plants, which might sometimes result in their honey being poisonous!
The power of honey bees lies in numbers
Your regular beehive consists of 30,000–60,000 bees, and while establishing their hive, queen bees might lay 2,000–3,000 eggs every day. If you think these numbers sound massive, consider this: an average bee produces less than a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime – and when raised in spring, they only live for 6–7 weeks due to quite literally working themselves to death. Queen bees, on the other hand, have a life expectancy of 2–3 years!
A massive community is also what makes Honeygain so powerful: by uniting millions of users in dozens of countries, it’s currently the world’s biggest web intelligence network, capable of taking on incredible feats!
Bees inspire ambitious art projects
Matt Willey is an artist from New York who has pledged to paint 50,000 honey bees in murals by hand as he travels the world - and he’s already getting close to 9,000! He’s calling his project The Good of the Hive, and 50,000 represents the number of bees a healthy hive needs to thrive. Willey calls himself an art activist and aims to get more people around the world interested and aware of the ways we could be saving bees, and in turn, the entire environment.
Honey has no consume-by date
If you kept honey in a sterile and airtight container and ensured the right environmental conditions, you could technically keep it in top condition forever. Archeologists have actually found edible honey in Egyptian tombs that have been buried for several thousand years! Among the things that protect honey from growing bacteria are natural acidity, low moisture, and a unique enzyme that comes from the belly of the nectar-collecting bee.
The Mayans had a honey god… and they weren’t the only ones
If you ever looked at Mayan religious art, you might have noticed a human figure with bee-like wings on his back, outstretched as if he was in the process of landing. It’s Ah Muzen Cab – the god of honey, mainly worshipped in and around Tulum. In fact, many ancient cultures and religions included gods responsible for honey and bees: the Hindus had Bhramari, the Ancient Romans had Mellona, and the Greeks had Aristaeus.
Honey bees are the thriftiest of builders
We’re sure you’ve seen a honeycomb before. Its distinct hexagonal pattern is easy to recognise – and yet, it might feel a bit confusing. Why do the bees shape wax into a shape that’s barely ever found anywhere else in nature? Scholars have been speculating about its unmatched efficiency since BC, and in 1999, it was finally proven: a perfect hexagon with 120-degree angles allows honey bees to form closed structures while using the least possible amount of wax. Talk about zero waste!
In fact, you could say the Honeygain app follows the principle of minimalism, too – it takes very little space on your device (and is hence quick to download!) and doesn’t affect your browsing experience in the slightest!
Once retired, Sherlock Holmes became a beekeeper
Not only did Sherlock move to the countryside to keep honey bees in the end, but he also authored a book called Practical Handbook Of Bee Culture with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen! Arthur Conan Doyle tells us about this in the series last book, His Last Bow – An Epilogue Of Sherlock Holmes. You can also see bees in some of the cinematic interpretations of his story, such as the Elementary TV series, where Sherlock tends to an apiary on the roof of his brownstone in New York!
Bees play a massive role in our diets – and not just by providing honey
There are millions of types of plants around the world – and yet, the nutrition of 90% of humanity relies on roughly 100 crop species. Now think of this: 70 of these 100 crops are pollinated by honey bees. That translates to around $30,000,000,000 in crops every year! If the bees went extinct, we’d lose not only those plants but also all the animals that eat them, and then the animals that eat those animals… You get the gist: losing bees would mean a massive blow to the global food chain!
Bee-autiful accessory? Why not!
Have you ever heard of a bee beard? It’s a formation of bees on your face that resembles a beard - and to attract one, you need to place a caged queen bee under your chin. The bees will crowd around the face… and so will spectators, who will all think you’re the bee’s knees! At least that’s what honey sellers thought in the XVIII century when they started using bee beards as a form of promotion. These days, we have way more effective advertising options… And yet, bee beards are far from being out of style: in Canada, you can even participate in The Clovermead Annual Bee Beard Competition!
Honeygain was not the first to associate honey with money
According to historical writings, honey was once considered so valuable that lords of some countries actually collected it as a tax. Such practices have been recorded in ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, and medieval Europe, namely England, France, and Germany where it was often used to sweeten beer. A highly nutritious, multi-purpose and long-lasting product that’s easy to store is the absolute bee’s knees for tax collection!
Nowadays, of course, you have to pay your taxes in cash – but that doesn’t mean honey has nothing to do with money. You can use Honeygain to make free money by sharing your Internet connection from anywhere in the world!
Bees navigate Viking-style
Sun is one of the first environmental hints you can follow when you don’t have Google Maps at hand: you know it always rises in the East and sets in the West. When it’s shining in a clear blue sky, bees use it to navigate their way around, too – much like many other animals. But have you ever stopped to think about how they do it on cloudy days? Turns out, they follow the same technique the Vikings did: they understand the orientation of polarised light and use these clues to make out the position of the sun. In addition to that, they also use smells, landmarks, and distance sensors!
Honey is used to heal all kinds of ailments
Chances are, you’ve been given honey to soothe a sore throat before. Being rich in antioxidants, it usually helps to fight inflammation – but did you know honey is also used to treat dandruff, cuts, and burns? It’s all because bacteria find honey to be an extremely inhospitable environment! Some also believe local honey can ease seasonal allergies by introducing tiny amounts of pollen collected from local plants to the organism – however, scientists state it’s not an effective strategy, since honey bees are attracted to bright-coloured flowers and not the plants that typically cause allergies.
These are just a few of the most interesting facts that relate to bees and honey – however, no article or even book could ever be big enough to include them all! The most important thing is to understand that bees are a crucial part of our planet’s ecosystem and also a great example of a buzzing community that finds its power and effectiveness in unity.
If you’d like to become a part of an equally strong and united community that joins their efforts for the common goal of making the Internet a safer and overall better place for all of us – why not join Honeygain? It’s a crowdsourced web intelligence network that helps businesses all around the world to perform data-based processes like ad verification, brand protection, price comparison, etc.
Every user of our proxyware also receives financial rewards for participating – and if you join by clicking the button below now, you’ll also receive a sweet starting gift of $5. Isn’t that something that's worth buzzing about?