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  • What's the Buzz? (and other bits of bee trivia)

    • The buzz comes from the bee's wings, which can beat 11,400 times per minute. 
    • Bee venom was used in ancient times to treat illnesses ranging from skin diseases to rheumatic disorders. Today, it is commonly used to treat people with severe allergic reactions to bee stings.
    • Researchers have isolated 18 different components of bee venom that have pharmacological properties.
    • If a worker bee finds a food source in the field, it returns to its hive and performs a dance to tell other bees where the food source is located. Dance moves are based on the angle of the food source as it relates to the position of the sun and the distance of the food. Circular dancing means the food is within 100 yards; figure-eight moves mean it is farther away.
    • Bees have sharp memories, which are based on their senses of direction and smell. There is some evidence that they find their way using a sensitivity to the earth's electromagnetic field.
    • Bees and wasps are of tremendous value to people and in nature. Among other things, they aid in the reproduction of flowering plants by transferring pollen. Many species hunt garden pests for food.
    • Honeybees are the only bees that die after they sting. This is because their stinger has backward barbs that prevent the bee from removing it. The bee not only leaves its stinger, but also a section of its abdomen that continues to pump venom into its victim.
    • Yellowjackets, which are often mistaken for bees, are actually wasps.
    • The potency of venom depends on the quality of pollen the bee has come in contact with. Because there is less pollen available in cold weather, bee venom is less potent in winter.

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