Bee Fun Facts

How many bees are in a colony?

A honeybee colony varies in numbers from 5,000 to 60,000+ bees.  The population is affected by the strain or subspecies of bee, the time of year, the latitude of the hive and the food resource availability.  In general they have a much smaller number in winter than during the summer honey flow. This is to conserve feed supplies thru the winter. If this number becomes too small they are not able to build up again in spring without our help.

What is the expected lifespan of a honeybee?

Life expectancy depends on the time of year and the caste of bee. Queens can live up to three years. Drones die when they mate or if they have not mated by the beginning of winter, they are ejected from the colony to die. During late spring, summer and early fall, a worker will live only about 6 weeks. When born, Workers serve as nursery workers for some 2 weeks. After that they collect nectar and pollen until they die. Workers born in the late fall, will live as long as 4 to 5 months, so that they can keep the Queen warm during the winter months.

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