10 Incredible Facts About Bees

Bees live intricate, fascinating lives.

In 2018, the UN declared May 20th "World Bee Day," which means it's the perfect occasion to appreciate bees for all they do.

Bees are incredible and intelligent creatures that live shockingly complicated lives, but they're also vital to the survival of the natural world–and to the survival of humans, too. There are about 25,000 species of bees in the world (though honeybees are the best known), and each and every one helps pollinate our crops, playing a vital role in our health and survival and in the health of our global ecosystems. Here are some fascinating facts about bees' strange lives.

1. Bees' brains can age in reverse

We already knew that linear time isn't real, but bees have always been living in total defiance of time. Bees' brain chemistry is linked to the job they're doing, so when older bees start performing a task usually reserved for a younger bee, their brains actually start aging in reverse. They're just like Benjamin Button, but real. Human scientists are currently researching this process, which could potentially teach us how to reverse the effects of dementia, so maybe… Bees hold the secret to eternal life?

2. Bees' brains work like serial killers

Bees' habits have actually helped forensic researchers track serial killers due to similarities in their behavioral patterns. Bees tend to collect pollen close to their hives but far away enough so predators can't find the hive. Similarly, serial killers tend to commit crimes close to home, but far away enough that their activities can't be traced to them. Scientists have studied this "buffer zone," using it to improve computer police models that traced criminals.

3. Honeybees communicate through complicated dances and specific smells

Bees utilize an incredibly complicated system of gestures, dances, and symbolic movements to communicate with other bees. Every time a bee goes out on a mission, they have to communicate their findings to other bees, which they do using a "waggle dance" and other gestures. In 1973, zoologist Karl von Frisch won the Nobel for his book The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees, which explored the intricacies of these movements. Apparently, specific speeds and angles that correspond to the location of the sun indicate different locations that help other bees pinpoint the exact location of food. The "waggle dance" resembles an infinity symbol, and there's also a "sickle dance" that indicates the relative distance of food from the hive.

The Waggle Dance | Inside the Animal Mind | BBC www.youtube.com

Bees also communicate using odors and scents they secrete. Bees have incredible senses of smell and can differentiate between hundreds of flowers.

4. Drone bees only exist to mate

In the human world, women might frequently be objectified and viewed only as sex objects by men, but it's the exact opposite in the bee world, where male drone bees literally only exist in order to mate and die. Drones have no stingers and do no work; they just mate with the queen when it's time to do so and then (usually) immediately die. If they don't die, then they're likely to be kicked out of the hive in the winter months when food grows scarce.

5. Worker bees have different jobs depending on their ages

Bee life is incredibly precise and regimented. At 1-2 days old, worker bees clean their cells. At 3-5 days old they feed older bees. At 6-11 days old they feed younger bees. At 12-17 days, they produce wax and remove corpses from the hive (bees are fastidiously neat, it turns out). At 18-21 days, they guard hive entrances. At 22 days they graduate and spend the next twenty or so days of their lives flying around and collecting pollen.

6. Bees do a ridiculous amount of work for very little payoff

During their lifetimes, worker bees will typically fly 90,000 miles (or three times around the globe). They beat their wings around 200 times per second, and they often visit two to five thousand flowers per day. Yet it takes around 2 million flower visits to produce a single one-pound jar of honey.

7. Bees have a special place in human folklore and mythology

Bees and humans have a unique connection (or at least, humans love to project our stories onto bees).

In ancient folklore, bees were often thought of as sacred insects that had the ability to fly between the underworld and our own world. According to the Homeric Hymn of Apollo, the god Apollo received the gift of prophecy from three goddesses who had human faces but the bodies of bees.

Bees are fairly connected to goddesses and priestesses, with bees often appearing in connection with the goddess or healer archetype, and hallucinogenic honey has long been linked to higher states of consciousness.

Hunting for Hallucinogenic Honey in 360° www.youtube.com

The Celts believed that bees were messengers between realms, and they also believed that humans' souls transformed into bees during trances, thus allowing people to walk between worlds. According to Welsh folklore, it was customary for heads of families to report deaths (in whispers) to their local beehives; and during funerals, hives would always be turned around. In Egyptian mythology, bees were said to be guides that helped humans on their ways to the underworld.

Bees also seem to be intertwined with stories of creation and human development. According to the San people of the Kalahari Desert, a bee once carried a mantis across a river so it could survive. The exhausted bee planted a seed in the mantis's body and died, and the seed grew to become the first human. In many Hindu myths, bees are symbols of nirvana and fully enlightened beings are portrayed as bees perched on top of flowers.

8. Queen bees fight each other to the death—and live insane lives

There can be only one queen bee. Queen bees have incredibly powerful stingers that can be used over and over again, and rival virgin queens will use these stingers to fight each other to the death until one is victorious.

Potential queens spend their early years locked inside special cells sealed with beeswax. Before a queen is born, the old queen usually leaves with a swarm to start a new hive. When the new queen is born, she leaves the hive to mate with 12-20 drones, then lays over 2,000 eggs per day.

If a queen becomes infertile or dies prematurely, worker bees will create an "emergency queen" by flooding new larvae with royal jelly, which results in a new, albeit typically smaller and less prolific queen.

9. Bees are extremely profitable and vital to our agricultural industry

Bees add $12 to $19 billion to the agricultural industry each year just due to their pollinating abilities. Their pollination is vital to the survival of many plants and forests, and about one-third of the food we humans eat can grow thanks to the help of bees. Without bees, we'd lose most of the fruits and vegetables we eat. (And of course, we'd also lose our beloved honey).

Honeycomb Stockr - Fotolia

10. Bees are at risk, but could help us fight climate change and hunger

The bee population is rapidly decreasing due to a combination of environmental destruction, climate change, and disease. (Sound familiar?)

Bees are also threatened by deforestation and agricultural disruption, pollution, pesticides, and climate change, all of which can irreparably damage their carefully coordinated lifestyles. The main causes of bee death are habitat destruction, pesticides, and changing global temperatures. Ecologists advise that we immediately ban the most dangerous pesticides and restore ecological agriculture and wild habitats so that bees can continue doing what they do best.

Bees are also currently being threatened by a disease called American Foulbrood, which can destroy entire colonies with one fell swoop. Currently antibiotics are being administered to hives in an effort to stop this disease.

The good news is that bees can also help fight climate change, as they're vital to the preservation of our ecosystems and they help sustain entire food chains. With more bees and healthier natural landscapes, ecosystems will flourish and humans will have more food security. The answer isn't just as simple as farming more honeybees, though. We need wild bees just as much as honeybees, and each plays their own important role in keeping the world running.

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How Prima Helped Me Improve My Daily Routine

Primas hemp products helped my create new habits

The last few months of working from home and barely leaving my apartment have been tough. Everyone seems to be improving themselves during quarantine but I was just trying to adjust to the new isolated way of living.

Now that the hardest part is hopefully behind us, I'm ready for some self-improvement. After months of WFH followed by binge-watching Netflix and binge-eating junk till 2 am, I've got to make a few changes. I took some advice from my sister who told me to pick three areas I'd like to makeover and then form new habits to help me achieve my goals.

She also suggested that I try hemp. She's been in love with all of Primas products for the last month and claims they've made a huge difference in how balanced she feels throughout the day. She said that Prima's hemp stands out from other brands because it's the highest quality hemp and rigorously tested to ensure potency and purity. But I was all about the new habits, so I ignored that advice.

Here are the three new habits I've added to my daily routine:

  1. Make time for me!

This one may seem silly after nearly three months stuck in the house alone, but what I mean is quality time for me. I needed to integrate activities that are mentally and physically constructive. I heard yoga was great for your mind and body and with so many tutorials on youtube, I added 20 minutes of yoga before breakfast to my morning routine.

2. Exercise

I don't like gyms and that's never going to change. So I needed to refresh my exercise options. I love being outdoors so I added an evening walk weeknights and long hikes on the weekends. The fresh air clears my head after a long day and I can start hitting those 10K steps we're meant to do every day!

3. Less Screentime

This isn't just for kids! I realized I was on my work laptop all day, and when I wasn't looking at that screen I was watching TV on my phone. My eyes were never getting a break and neither was my head. I had to limit the crazy amount of time I was spending on my phone. I got a free app that alerts me when I'm on it too long, like an alarm that kicks me off. Then I ordered some novels to read instead of scrolling through Instagram and Twitter in bed. Now I read a few chapters and nod off.

My new habits took a while to get used to, but after two weeks of constantly reminding myself, they're part of my routine that I'm just loving. I'm definitely sleeping better and feel more motivated in the morning. However, I still felt like there was something missing. And my aching neck started to get worse. I thought the yoga would help but once the afternoon hit, my namaste had completely vanish-tayed and my neck was in bits by bedtime! I even sorted out my home office with a new chair and keyboards so I wouldn't be bending it so much all day but I think the damage was done.

That's when my sister jumped in and reminded me that I should try Prima's hemp products. For my neck? I still doubted that was the solution. But when she promised me Primas R+R recovery cream would help my neck, with her husband also vouching for it I gave it a go.

Once it arrived at my door I tried it every night a week for bed. The first night I felt a little difference but I just put that down to the cooling effect of the menthol. I was surprised hemp was just one ingredient among so many really amazing ones such as menthol, eucalyptus, and marula oil. Along with the botanicals tea tree, lavender, rosemary, and peppermint which are great to encourage total relaxation. While on their site, I couldn't believe the variety of hemp products they have.

By the end of the week, I really felt the magic of Primas R+R cream and it has become the most important part of my nighttime routine. I forget what it was like to have neck discomfort thanks to Prima.

I loved it so much that I couldn't help treating myself to their award-winning Night Magic Serum. I can't wait for my glowy skin!!

I never imagined I'd become a hemp fan, but Prima is the perfect piece to complete my revamped wellness routine that makes me more mindful and balanced. I'm so glad my sister introduced me to Prima, it's my new favorite habit that I will be keeping!

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What's Up with All These Fireworks?

New Yorkers have been hearing constant explosions throughout the night. Is it a conspiracy?

If you live in a large metropolitan area like New York City, Black Lives Matter protests likely aren't the only things you hear making noise in the streets.

In the past couple of weeks, as Black Lives Matter supporters march in memory of George Floyd and countless other Black people killed by police, the sounds of fireworks can be heard virtually every weekend. More than just your average Fourth of July shindig, these explosions often trail into the wee hours of the morning.

According to Gothamist, there were 6,385 total "311" complaints about fireworks in New York City from June 1 to June 19—up from 27 during the same time period last year. "This is not the simple firecrackers and little small toy-type rockets, but it was very elaborate," Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told Gothamist. "That in itself is raising a high level of concern with me... When you see the large displays along Brooklyn and in Manhattan, Upper Manhattan, you're seeing extremely sophisticated type fireworks displays that can be extremely dangerous in the hands of the wrong people."

Anything more powerful than a sparkler is illegal in New York, but that hasn't stopped regular folks from buying the type of fireworks you'd see in a professional display. But who is buying these fireworks, and what are they trying to accomplish? There are some wild theories.

NYPD, FDNY appear to let illegal fireworks show play out, video shows

NYPD, FDNY appear to let illegal fireworks show play out, video shows nypost.com

As author Robert Jones, Jr. pointed out in a lengthy Twitter thread, antics by "bored Black and brown kids" tends to be the general assumption made by most mainstream media. "My neighbors and I believe that this is part of a coordinated attack on Black and Brown communities by government forces; an attack meant to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement," Jones wrote.

One goal Jones proposed was that white people were the ones setting off the constant fireworks in an attempt to "stoke tensions between Black and Brown peoples." Many have voiced their frustrations online about the sheer volume of the fireworks they hear, and a shared annoyance is growing.

Another motive Jones proposed was that the fireworks are being used as a desensitization method to acclimate citizens to the sounds of the blasts—which often sound like gunshots. "When they start using their real artillery on us we won't know the difference," Jones wrote. "It's meant to sound like a war zone because a war zone is what it's about to become."

Police don't seem too concerned. The New York Post shared a video this week of fireworks being set off behind an NYPD precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. No officers appear to deter them. A similar video in Harlem, Manhattan also shows a flock of police cars—none of which seem to mind the explosions.

Another video shows what appears to be Brooklyn firefighters setting off fireworks:

Video shows FDNY firefighters light off illegal fireworks in Brooklyn

Video shows FDNY firefighters light off illegal fireworks in Brooklyn nypost.com

Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he was forming a task force to combat the illegal fireworks. "Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance," he said. "We're cracking down on this activity at the source to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and the ability of our neighbors to get some sleep."

But if over 6,000 complaints have been made about fireworks to seemingly no avail, it seems a task force won't merit much of an improvement.

Many seem to agree with the theory that inconspicuous government officials have been offering fireworks to Black children, newly on summer vacation and hungry for ways to ease their quarantine boredom. As with many issues going on in America, these constant fireworks will probably be just another way for the government to further discriminate against marginalized groups.

At least we can always rely on memes to spread the good word.

I don't know about you guys, but working from home has taken a serious toll on me. It started off really well. I was sticking to my usual routine as much as possible, but I've been slowly becoming less and less productive.

I noticed my sleep schedule had completely changed. I was rolling out of bed a few minutes before I was due to start work, and sometimes even working from my bed. I ate lunch at the desk and worked straight through my scheduled breaks. I was sleepier throughout the day, unable to focus as much, and just feeling less motivated overall.

So I looked into what I could do that would help me out of my slump. I tried a few things. Some were so simple I never thought they'd make much of a difference, and some I wouldn't have thought of at all, but now I'm back feeling more productive than ever.

Here are my three tips for working from home:

1. Get up early

Yes, it seems so simple. But it's super important to stick to a normal routine if you can. Not only do I get up early, but I shower every morning and cook myself a nutritious breakfast before I start work. This definitely helped me feel more energized and motivated throughout the day.

2. Have a designated workspace

This is important because it separates your work from your home. Our homes are associated with relaxing, so designating a space that will be used only for work will help you concentrate on work while you're in that space. I also found that doing this helped me actually take appropriate breaks. When I left the space I was in relax mode, and once I came back, I was ready to work again.

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3. CBD supplements

When looking into ways to improve my focus and sleeping patterns, I came across an article about CBD supplements, specifically a brand called Prima. I'd never bought into the whole CBD craze, but when I read that you can try Prima's Rest Easy, Go-To, and Brain Fuel elixirs by purchasing their Trifecta for just $26 with shipping, I thought why not?

The elixirs are powders that you can mix into any beverage. The Prima Trifecta has a few samples of all three. The Brain Fuel elixir is to be taken in the morning, so I mixed it into my coffee, and I was awake and alert and able to throw myself into my working day.

Their Go-To elixir should be taken around noon. My daily midday productivity crash had gotten so much worse while working at home, but taking this elixir helped keep me sharp through the remainder of my work day.

The Rest Easy elixir is taken at night to help you get a good sleep. Since I started taking this my sleep schedule has greatly improved. It was so much easier to get up early again. It left me feeling well rested and ready to start my day.

I never realized how much simple things, like setting out a specific workspace, and getting up early would help me escape my unproductive rut. I wasn't expecting Prima's CBD supplements to help as much as they did, but they definitely had the biggest impact for me.

After trying the Prima Trifecta, I ended up buying the full size of all three elixirs. If you're having problems with sleep, focus, and productivity like I was, I'd recommend ordering the Prima Trifecta.

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This is a real testimonial.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.