“I am going to make you something much better than honey,” said Ant.
“What could be better than honey?” asked Honey Bee.
“You’ll see,” said Ant.
from: Ant and Honey Bee: A Pair of Friends in Winter
by Megan McDonald
illustrated by G. Brian Karas
This coming Saturday, August 20, 2016, is National Honeybee Day. You might want to celebrate when you, consider this:
A single honey bee collects about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
To make one pound of honey, bees fly 50,000 miles.
The record harvest for one colony is 404 pounds, by the Aebis Family in 1974.
Honey bees directly pollinate the flowers of 1/3 of all fruits and vegetables.
Beekeeping dates back at least 4,500 years.
Honey bees are kept or managed in all 50 states.
Beekeepers produce about 30% of the honey we consume in the U.S.
Facts above and the information that follows are from http://www.nationalhoneybeeday.com/beefactstrivia.html
Three types of bees live in a hive:
- The QUEEN develops in 16 days, from egg to emergence. She lives from 1-4 years.
- WORKERS are all female. A strong hive is home to between 40,000 and 60,000 bees. Workers have many jobs: Any of them sound familiar?
collect pollen and nectar
perform guard duty
A worker lives for 6-8 weeks in the summer, working until her wings give out. In winter, when she is not as active, she will live for 4-6 months.
- The sole responsibility of the DRONES is fertilization. They leave the hive for 2-3 hours each day. I wonder what they do all that time? If the workers stopped feeding them, the drones would die of starvation.
According to the USDA, in 2014, Americans consumed an average of 0.9 pound of honey per person, up from 0.5 pound in 1990. Much of the increased honey consumption is imported honey.
So we’re eating more honey, but producing less. Hmmm.
I don’t feel sorry for the poor workers, working until their wings fall off. They were made for that. I don’t envy the drones their freedom, either. THEY were made for THAT, too.
But, I do have a better appreciation now for those golden jars neatly lined up on the shelf at the local farmer’s market. I will stir a little honey into my oatmeal all week. Celebrations are good.