Albert Einstein once said “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”
Honey bees pollinate about 80 per cent of our flowering crops which constitutes one third of everything we consume; and the value of pollinating services of the bees has been estimated to be worth over £200m a year, with the retail value of what they pollinate worth closer to £1b.
On World Bee day today, here are 10 most exciting facts you should know about the pollinator.
- The Honey bees have been producing honey in the same way for 150 million years.
- The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man, and honey is the only food on the planet with eternal shelf life.
- The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. During this time, she’ll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.
- It takes one bee to fly around 90,000 miles – three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.
- One honey bee needs to visit 1,500 flowers to produce a drop of honey.
- Honey bees fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and the buzzing sound of a honey bee is made by their wings which beat 11,400 times per minute.
- Honey has been used for medicinal purpose for eons and is effective in curing, sore throats, skin problems, hay fever and digestive disorders.
- The natural fruit sugars in honey – fructose and glucose – are very quickly digested by the body. This is used by athletes to provide an instant energy boost.
- The Romans used honey instead of gold to pay their taxes.
- Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water; and it’s the only food that contains ‘pinocembrin’, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.