Sweet SomethingsThey’re not very big, but their impact is enormous. In addition to producing $150 billion worth of honey annually, honeybees also pollinate more than 90 commercial crops around the world. That’s sweet.
By Mark Crudup
Don't forget to call her Honey. That's the first piece of advice for male drones — in the hustle-and-bustle world of a beehive, female honeybees dominate the working males. The second piece of advice: Enjoy it while you can. That's because drones are doomed to die after mating, while the drones that don't mate are denied food, meaning they die as well. What's worse, there's nothing they can do to fight back. Among honeybees, it's the females that sting; males aren't given any defense mechanisms.
Clearly, there's no glass ceiling in a beehive. The females run the show, and their primary objective is to serve the queen and protect her larvae. Of course, the males do have a purpose. Their job is to mate with the queen, and it's a tall order: The queen is a bee-producing machine, laying up to 2,000 eggs a day, according to researchers at Texas A&M University.
As a result, honeybees are everywhere, including Arizona. They first came to the United States in the 1600s, and today they swarm the globe, producing honey and pollinating more than 90 commercial crops in the process. Honey, however, is their main line of work, and they're very good at what they do, generating more than $150 billion worth of honey annually. It doesn't come easy, though. In fact, a bee must pollinate 2 million flowers just to make a single pound of honey. Even with 50,000 bees in a colony, that's a lot of buzzing around.