Some bee species defend their hives with giant balls of heat - Deepstash
Bees can remember human faces — and 7 other surprising facts about these important insects

Bees can remember human faces — and 7 other surprising facts about these important insects

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Some bee species defend their hives with giant balls of heat

Some bee species defend their hives with giant balls of heat

Using their wings, bees can fan hot air out of the hive to cool an area or vibrate their flight muscles to heat it. 

Scientists have observed Japanese honeybees create a giant ball around the hive-invading, bee-eating Asian giant hornets to use the same hive-heating techniques to cook the invader alive.

Bees can remember human faces

Bees can remember human faces

Bees may have brains the size of poppy seeds, but they’re able to pick out individual features on human faces and recognize them during repeat interactions.

In one study, scientists paired images of human faces with sugar-laced water and found that bees recognized and remembered faces associated with the sweet reward — even when the reward was absent.

Honeybees live according to a strict hierarchy

Honeybees live according to a strict hierarchy

There are three types of honeybees: queens, workers and drones. There’s only one queen, and she’s typically the largest and longest-living individual within a hive. Worker bees are all female and the only bees with stingers. And while workers are genetically identical to the queen, only the crown can lay eggs.

There are bees that can age backwards — really!

There are bees that can age backwards — really!

When there’s a lack of young worker bees, older bees can revert to their more energetic, younger selves to take on the task. In fact, these bees end up living longer to pick up the slack.

Scientists use bees to study serial killers

Scientists use bees to study serial killers

Criminologists developed a statistical technique called geographic profiling (GP). Based on the locations of the crimes, police can make educated guesses about where a suspect might live or visit regularly.

Bees avoid detection by predators and parasites by creating a distraction zone — they leave flowers closest to their nest entrance untouched and feed further away from the hive.

They found that bees’ foraging patterns were as reliable and predictable as humans.

Bees put the honey in honeymoon

Bees put the honey in honeymoon

As a part of Nordic marriage rites during the 5th century, it’s believed that it was a tradition for newlywed couples to consume copious amounts of mead (a fermented honey drink) during the first full moon cycle, or month, of marriage. The practice is one of several proposed origins of the honeymoon’s etymology.

Bees help farmers grow better food and keep food prices down

Bees help farmers grow better food and keep food prices down

Bees are highly-efficient pollinators and are essential to plant diversity. When bees are employed to pollinate crops such as avocados, blueberries and cucumbers, fruit yields and weight increase dramatically compared to crops grown in the absence of bees or other pollinators.

It’s not too late to save bees — and YOU can help

It’s not too late to save bees — and YOU can help

Fortunately, you can take action to help bees where you live. With just a smartphone and a willingness to learn, you can contribute to various citizen science projects.

Your own backyard is another place to start:

  1. Plant more wildflowers.
  2. Don’t use pesticides that harm bees and apply them before flowering begins.
  3. If you live in the city, set up or join a community rooftop garden.

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