Five bee myths and truths

Photo close-up of honey beesopens IMAGE file

Myth: Bees are mean.

Truth: Bee are nice. Honeybees only sting as a last resort, because they die after stinging. That means, unless they feel threatened or think you are going to hurt the hive, they will leave you alone.

Photo of a honeybee on a floweropens IMAGE file

Myth: Bees will keep stinging you.

Truth: As stated above, honeybees will die after stinging once.

Myth: Bees, wasps and hornets are all the same.

Truth: They are closely related and are all great pollinators but they are different. Wasps and hornets are much more aggressive than bees, and they are carnivores while bees are vegetarians.

Photo of honeybees on honeycombopens IMAGE file

Myth: All bees can sting you.

Truth: Most bees that sting are social bees that live in hives, such as honeybees and bumblebees. Again, they only sting when they feel threatened, because they are trying to protect the hive. Most native bees are solitary and therefore rarely sting, and many of them are so small that their stingers cannot even penetrate human skin, so you really have nothing to fear.

Myth: Bee stings are always dangerous.

Truth: Unless you're allergic, there's not much to fear if you do get stung. The average person cannot tolerate 10 stings per one pound of body weight, so most adults could tolerate more than 1,500 stings!

Photo of a honey beeopens IMAGE file

Bees are often misunderstood.

If you want to see just how interesting, and safe, bees are, come check out the observation honeybee hive inside the Dickinson County Nature Center.

Bee Finger Puppet craft

Photo of a bee finger puppetopens IMAGE file

While learning about bees, make this fun bee finger puppet with your children.

First, download the bee finger puppet templateopens PDF file  and print it. Let your kids use their imaginations on how they want to decorate their bee.

See other crafts on our blog.

Using safety scissors, cut around the bee outline, and then parents should cut along the black lines in the middle of the bee, being careful not to cut all the way to the edge.

Push the flap that was cut out down, and slide your finger through the ring created.

Fly your bee around and see what it finds!

Bees see in UV

Bees see the world much differently than humans. It’s not just because they are small but because they see different colors. On the color scale, humans can see the colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. On one end, there is infrared, which humans can’t see, and on the other Read More »

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Thumbprint bees

One of our volunteers made coffee filter butterflies with her granddaughter, and in exchange, her granddaughter showed her how to make thumbprint bees. We thought they were so cute, we would try them ourselves. And just to make it more exciting, we did a variety of thumbprint invertebrates! All you’ll need is: White paper Washable Read More »

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Native Bees: Gentle and buzz-worthy

The mining bees in the Andrenidae family are incredibly gentle bees. According to “Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide” by Heather Holm, a park in Minneapolis is the home to thousands of Andrena nests each year, but most people have no idea that they are walking right over them. These bees are solitary Read More »

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Make your own bee hotel

You can help native bees by providing them a secure place to nest. What many call bee hotels or bee homes range from simple to deluxe designs. (Mason bees are amazing pollinators.) One way is to drill various-sized holes into a wooden block or tree cookie and hang it in a sheltered area. Another simple Read More »

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Six ways native bees differ from honeybees

People often use the term bee when talking about any kind of buzzing creature outside — it could be a honeybee, a bumble bee, a mason bee, a sweat bee or even a wasp or yellowjacket. However, it’s important to differentiate between the different kinds of bees. That may be difficult since the U.S. has Read More »

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Neonicotinoids and bees: A summary of studies done

You have probably heard the long name neonicotinoids when the topic of struggling bee populations has come up. But what exactly are these chemicals, and what do they have to do with bees? This is a topic that is long, in-depth and still being studied, but we will do our best to break it down Read More »

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How honeybees survive the winter

The numbers of bees in the indoor beehive have gone down. But that’s pretty normal this time of year. It just means that our bees have entered winter mode and are getting ready to survive cold weather. Baby, it’s cold outside. As the weather cools down, a honeybee hive starts to change. One of the Read More »

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Be a bee! Learn how to make your own antenna

After Halloween, has your child been begging you to let him or her wear his or her costume again? Do they want to dress up every day? Here’s a fun craft to make that might curb their dressing up craving — bee antenna. You’ll need: A headband Four pipe cleaners Two beads Start by taking Read More »

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