Sometimes it’s the smallest things in life that make the biggest difference. Honey bees are an excellent example of how each organism in our ecosystem has an impact on the environment. This year National Honey Bee Day is observed on both August 15 and 22. “Ban Ignorance, not Honey Bees” is the theme for 2015 in an effort to teach the public about both beekeeping and the overall contributions of the honey bee.

As we expand and grow in society, we often forget about organisms such as honey bees and how they contribute to our daily lives. Our growth and the use of pesticides destroys their habitats and their colonies.

Honey bees are responsible for pollinating one-sixth of the flowering plant species worldwide and about 400 different types of agricultural plants. This means that bees enable us to have food such as broccoli, almonds, apples and pumpkins. Oh yes, and honey! Without these busy insects, the United States alone could lose an estimated $15 billion worth of crops. 

Not only are they important to the ecosystem, they are also interesting to learn about. Here are a few honey bee facts to share:

  • On average, bees fly 13-15 miles per hour and their wings bee 180 times per second.
  • Honey bees visit about 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
  • Bees do not sleep, instead they rest in empty cells in the beehive.
  • During honey-gathering season, there are about 40,000-60,000 bees in a hive.
  • To produce 2 pounds of honey, bees travel a distance equal to four times around the earth.

Impressive, right? Celebrate National Honey Bee Day by helping to educate others with these facts.

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