Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Questions from a Grade 7 Class in Germany

Q1.  Ashwini.B:  How long does it take to make a honeycomb?

A1.  Bees need to eat lots of honey to make honeycombs.  If they have honey available to eat, they can build a comb the size of 4" x 6" in a few days.

Q2. Do bees see everything as humans?
A2.  No, bees' vision is very different than ours.  Honey bees can see ultraviolet light.  Their favourite colour is blue.  Here's a link which shows how bees see flowers:
How bees and humans see flowers

Q1. Ami:  When did people find out you can eat honey?
A1.  We're not sure when humans first started eating honey but I expect it was a very long time ago.  If honey leaked out of a hive, for example, if a branch broke in a storm exposing a bee hive and honey I'm sure humans would check it out because we're naturally very curious.

Q2. What temperature can bees survive in?
A2.  Bees can survive in a very cold winter.  In parts of Canada it can be as much as -40 Celsius in the middle of winter.  Bees don't hibernate in winter.  They stay awake in their hive and they form what we call a cluster.  They stand close together and shiver their wing muscles on their back to generate heat to keep each other warm.  They don't heat the whole hive, they only heat themselves.  Just like penguins, bees on the outside of the cluster will be colder and will slowly move to the center to get warmed up and then move back to the edge again.  So each bee gets a chance to get warmer.

Q.  Hayden: where do bees have the most population?????
A.  I'm not sure which country has the most bees.  The number of bees can be affected by how much food is available (flowers) and also the type of weather in that country.  At certain times in the year there can be a huge amount of bees in one state.  For example, in the USA when the almond trees are in bloom, the beekeepers there put all their hives on trucks and drive them to California so they can pollinate the almonds.

Q. Alex:how many breeds of bees are there in the world?
A. In North America there are about 3,000 different types of bees.  The honey bee is the only bee that makes large amounts of honey.  They make so much that the beekeeper can take some honey and they'll still have a lot left to eat.  There are some stingless bees in some countries that make honey as well but not as much.

Q.  Leon: How much honey could a bee make in one day?
A.  In her whole life a bee might make as much as 0.8 grams of honey.  When the circumstances are perfect for weather and sunshine, the flowers will put out more nectar and on those days the bees can bring in more nectar than on other days.

Q.  Jose: What do bees use honey for?
A.  Honey is food that gives the bees energy so they can do activities.  They make a lot of honey all summer so that in winter when there are no flowers available and it's cold, they can stay in the hive and eat honey.

There are more questions which I'll answer in the next post.

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