Urban Bee Legends - UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab

10. The bees do a dance. Honey bees are famous for their "bee dancing," an eight-shimmy figure performing in the air to share information about nearby resources (flowers, water, or new beehive locations) with other honeybees hive. Native bees are mostly solitary, and would rather keep good places for themselves.

11. Bees are too small to fly long distances to collect pollen and nectar.
In the name of efficiency, bees prefer to travel no more than 50-500m between flowers and nesting places. Some studies, however, show that bees have the ability to fly much longer distances in order to locate the preferred pollen and nectar resources.

12. Adult bees live a long time. Most native solitary bees only have a few weeks to mate, build and provide nests, and lead to the next generation. Honeybees and working and male bumblebees live about six weeks, spending about three weeks working on the hive, and the remaining three foraging pollen and nectar. Queen bumble bees live a full year, and carpenter bees can live up to two years in ideal conditions.

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13. Male bees die after mating.
The genitals of honey bees blow out explosively in mating with a sound that can be heard, paralyzing and killing them. Males of other species can and should mate more than once.

14. Male bees do not pollinate flowers.
Males are not as efficient as most women when visiting flowers, as they are equipped only to retrieve nectar (flight fuel) rather than actively collecting pollen. However, they often inadvertently pollinate some types of flowers quite effectively.

  • Adam Floyd