What's the Buzz? (and other bits of bee trivia)
buzz comes from the bee's wings, which can beat 11,400 times per
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
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
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
Yellowjackets, which are often mistaken for bees, are actually
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.
More about insect stings and bites: