Be(e) a superhero for 1 minute
Put your coffee & emails away and slip into your new super body!
Half a kilogram of honey is the lifetime production for about 768 bees, made up of visits to 2 million flowers.
You need a body with superhero potential to manage this.
Ready to fly? Now you are a honey bee.
You are around 700,000 times smaller than a human being. You have six articulated limbs, each with six segments.
You’re extremely hairy and this is not a terrible thing. Bristles cover your body and face to help you keep warm, collect pollen, and even detect movement.
Your straw-like tongue has no taste buds and stretches far beyond the end of your jaw. You “taste” with other, specialized hairs, called “sensillae”. You use them to sense the chemicals that brush against particular parts of your body.
Instead of two eyes, now you got five eyes. Exciting!
Two of them cover about half of your face and are made up of 6,900 tiny lenses. Each singular lens sends you a different “pixel”, to see the environment around you. By the way, you see other colors than humans see: Red looks like black to you and your three “primary” colors are blue, green, and ultraviolet. Still, you can see colors only if you fly or move slowly . When you fly quickly, then colors become grey.
But what about motion?
No worries, you detect motion exceptionally well, but outlines are fuzzy, like a stained-glass window. Your other three eyes serve to detect exclusively changes in light! Now you can escape quickly if something dangerous is moving in your direction.
With this super body you can do all kinds of things you couldn’t do before. Your four wings move at 11,400 strokes per minute. You can sense chemicals in the air. You’re fluent in waggle dance, so you’re able to tell the other members of your colony where the nectar supplies are. And you will see and do a lot of other things that are just mind-blowing !
Native bees living in a natural environment do not require human help to survive.
Differently, 60 – 80 % of our fruits and vegetables come from insect-pollinated plants.
Bees don’t need us, but we need them.
- Tautz, Jürgen: Der Bien. Superorganismus Honigbiene, June 2010
- Frost, Natasha: What is it like to be a bee? December 06, 2017