The cherry blossoms are officially in bloom, and with them come the mason bees, nature’s super-pollinator! Able to pollinate as many flowers in a single day as 100 honeybees, the mason bee is the unsung hero of the insect world. Check out our top 10 facts stemming (pun intended!) from our innovative activity book, Turn This Book into a Beehive:
- There are 25,000 different species of bees buzzing around the earth today. They can be divided into two major groups–2% social bees and 98% solitary bees.
- There are about 150 different types of mason bees in North America! Chances are, no matter where you live, you probably have these helpful bees flying around.
- Unlike with social bees, every single female mason bee is a queen. She does it all–finds her own nest, gathers her own food, lays her own eggs, and protects them!
- Bees’ wings move like helicopter blades. They fly an average of 15 miles per hour and their wings flap at 200 beats per second.
- Bees have supersight. Unlike humans who have only one lens per eye, bees have a compound eye on each side of their head made up of over 5,000 individual lens parts called ommatidia.
- A bee’s sense of smell is 100 times more powerful than a human’s. Scientists at the Stealthy Insect Sensor Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have even trained bees to be bomb detectors!
- At a rate of about an egg a day, it takes a month for a mason bee to lay all her eggs. Each paper nesting tube featured in this book will be a single home for as many as 10 to 12 babies from one mother bee!
- Honey has a heck of a shelf life! When archaeologists excavated a 3,000-year-old tomb, they discovered honey that was still edible.
- A honeybee colony includes three types of bees: worker bees, drones, and the queen. With each bee performing a specific job, the colony is a well-organized Village!
- It takes a lot of work to be sweet. A one-pound (.5kg) jar of honey is the lifetime work of approximately 768 bees!
About the Book:
What a promise! Actually, promises. First, here’s a book that teaches kids all about the fascinating world of bees. Second, fun exercises, activities, and illustrations engage the imagination and offer a deeper understanding of bee life and bee behavior. Third, by following a few simple steps including removing the book’s cover and taping it together, readers can transform the book into an actual living home for backyard bees. Fourth, added all together, Turn This Book Into a Beehive! lets kids make a difference in the world—building a home where bees can thrive is one small but critical step in reversing the alarming trend of dwindling bee populations.