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The Honey Bee

As Busy as a Bee


How many flowers must honey bees tap to make 1 pound of honey? >> Two million
How far does a hive of bees fly to bring you 1 pound of honey? >> Over 15,000 miles
How much honey does the average honey bee worker bee make in her lifetime? >> 1/2 a teaspoon
How fast does a honey bee fly? >> Between 15 and 20 mph
How many flowers does a honey bee visit during one collection trip? >> Between 50 and 100.
How much food do Honeybees need to consume to make 10kg of honey? >> Bees need to consume about 60-80kg of nectar as food just to make 10kg of honey.
How much nectar can one honeybee carry? >> The average load of nectar is between 20-40 mg, making one kg of nectar equivalent to 12,000-24,000 trips to and from a nectar source.


A bee hive consists of one Queen, many thousands of female worker bees and, in summer, a few hundred males called drone bees.

The beekeeper keeps the Queen in a part of the hive called the Brood Box.  It is here where the young bees are raised. The picture to the left shows part of a frame from the brood box.

The Queen is in the centre marked with a white dot to make it easier to find her. Around the Queen are a number of attendant bees giving her food and generally looking after her.

In the hezagonal honeycomb cells beneath the bees you can see the white young larvae, surrounded with white brood food given to them by the nurse bees.

The Queen spends her days from March to October looking for empty honey comb cells and laying eggs in them. In mid summer she could be laying 2000 eggs a day.

More information on honey bee biology and behaviour can be found here: BBKA