Our friends at Arataki Honey remind us that National Bee Week is May 4 – 8. BayBuzz would indeed be derelict if we didn’t help spread the buzz.

Just how good is your bee knowledge? Take our quick “Bee in the Know” quiz. Answers at end … no cheating!

1. All worker bees are: a) male, b) female, c) both genders share the workload.

2. How much honey does a bee produce in her lifetime? a) one teaspoon (5gms), b) two teaspoons (10gms), c) ten teaspoons (50gms).

3. To produce a kilogram of honey, bees must visit how many flowers?
a) 500,000 flowers, b) about 1 million flowers, c) over 3 million flowers.

4. Where do bees mate? a) anywhere dark, b) only in the hive, c) high in the sky.

5. After mating, which of the following does the male bee lose: a) his virginity, b) his reproductive parts, c) his life, d) all of these.

6. How many eggs can a Queen Bee produce in a day? a) 500 eggs, b) 2000 eggs, c) depends on her mood.

7. All the unfertilized eggs become: a) nothing, b) males, c) rabbits.

8. Bees especially like: a) black & yellow stripes, b) blue, c) they’re color blind.

9. Which of these famous Kiwis was once a beekeeper: a) Dan Carter, b) Winston Peters, c) Sir Ed Hillary, d) Dave Dobbyn.

10. How much of the food we eat depends upon bees for pollination?
a) about 10%, b) about one-third, c) more than half.

New Zealand’s bee population supports an estimated $100 million honey industry. This recent NZ Herald article explains just how vital bees are, and why their depletion is such a serious problem.

Tom Belford

Answers: 1 (female), 2 (5gms), 3 (over 3 mil), 4 (in sky), 5 (all), 6 (2,000), 7 (males), 8 (blue), 9 (Sir Ed), 10 (one-third)

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2 Comments

  1. So all worker bees are female.

    Now I am left wondering -apart from mating and then dying what are the males doing?

    Gee I hope it don't spread to humans! I'm not refering to the work bit !

  2. On a serious note:

    Stop poisoning Bees

    Pesticides could decimate New Zealand’s bee population unless the Government takes action, Green MP Sue Kedgley said today.

    "Bees are vital to our economy, our horticulture, our agriculture and our ecology,” Ms Kedgley said. “We depend on them for about one third of our food, through their role as pollinators.”

    Bee Week (May 4-8) was the ideal time for the Government to protect honey bees, according to Ms Kedgley: “The government should follow the European Union’s lead and phase out pesticides that are highly toxic to bees. This action would protect us from the mass deaths that have occurred in other parts of the world.”

    The European Parliament recently adopted stringent new regulations to phase out pesticides that are toxic to bees.

    “At least 32 pesticides registered for use in New Zealandhave been identified as killing bees,” Ms Kedgley said. "They are part of more than 140 formulations, or about 11% of all pesticide products registered here.”

    The bee-toxic pesticides include popular home garden products from Yates, Watkins and Garden King, as well as products used in the horticultural and agricultural sectors, such as Dursban, Confidor, Crusier and Poncho.

    European beekeepers fear their industry could be wiped out in less than a decade as millions of bees have fallen victim to insecticides, disease and intensive farming. In some parts of Europe 80% of bees were poisoned last year.

    The Green MP also called for a stop to honey imports that could bring new viruses into New Zealand: “The government should reverse its decision to allow honey imports from Australia, which has bee diseases not found here.

    “We must maintain stringent biosecurity procedures to protect New Zealand bees from new viruses and diseases, and reduce the poisons in their environment.”

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