Special Wonder: Honey Bees

A busy, buzzy honey bee

These fuzzy flyers are some of nature’s hardest workers and their jobs are very important. Let’s find out more with Butterfly Belle!

  • Honey bees are very special insects because they make yummy honey, beeswax and royal jelly from the nectar they collect from flowers.
  • Honey is sweet and lovely to eat. Bees uses beeswax to make honeycombs, and humans use it to make candles and beauty treatments. Royal jelly is fed to the queen bee to make her big and strong.
  • Honey bees live together in hives. Inside a hive are lots of hexagonal cells (or holes) that join together to make a honeycomb. This is where the bees store their honey, pollen and the larvae and eggs of their young.
  • A beehive has three different kinds of bees all working together.
  • Worker bees are the female bees that we see buzzing around the garden. They look for food and they build and protect the hive.
  • Drones are male bees that keep the hive the right temperature and make new queen bees.
  • Each hive has one queen bee – she lays eggs to make the next generation of bees. It is easy to spot the queen as she is much larger than the other bees. She can live for up to five years!
  • Every winter, hong bees live inside the hive and feed their larvae honey and pollen. They group together to stay warm. By spring, the hive will be super-busy with a whole new generation of bees!
  • Honey bees also help pollinate plants. As they fly from one flower to the next collecting sweet nectar, they end up carrying pollen, too. When the pollen gets into another flower, it helps new seeds and fruits to grow. Some plants rely on honey bees to pollinate them.
  • A busy honey bee can visit over 50 flowers in one trip, so that’s a lot of pollinating!
  • Many farmers keep bees on their land to pollinate the crops. If it wasn’t for bees, we wouldn’t have the same variety of foods in our diets.

Next time you see a honey bee, don’t tell it to buzz off, say hello and thank you! Like Butterfly Belle, you can also give honey bees a helping hand by planting a garden filled with their favourite flowers.

Hello Honey Bee!

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