How Many Species are There?

There are more species of bees than of mammals and birds combined — more than 20,000 and counting as scientists discover more. There are only about 5,500 species of mammals and about 10,000 species of birds. Bee populations in North America are undergoing a huge decline because of something called colony collapse disorder, an unexplained phenomenon in which worker bees simply disappear from a colony, causing it to collapse.

More facts about bees:

  • Queen bees can lay up to 2,500 eggs per day. They lay the most eggs in the summer, when the hive needs to be at full capacity.

  • It is legal to mail bees. The U.S. Postal Service accepts "bee mail" from most places in the world, although packages of bees do have special charges placed on them.

  • The average honeybee's wings stroke almost 12,000 times a minute.
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Discussion Comments


@Viranty - It's funny you should mention your fear of bees, as that's perfectly understandable, especially since it happened during your childhood. I know plenty of people who have phobias that developed from when they were young. In my opinion, I think the reason why it can be hard to get over an unsettling childhood experience is because of the mentality children have.

When adults experience events in life, they're able to rationalize with them more, realizing that those things are going to happen. However, with kids, it's a completely different story. Unsettling events are something children don't normally expect. Good or bad, what happens to us during a young age shapes us and eventually molds us into who we are.


@Viranty - I have a similar fear as well. I'm afraid of wasps, although I wouldn't say my fear is "irrational". They are far more aggressive than bees, and will sting you just because they can. As an example, one time, I was outside enjoying a nice picnic. All of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain on my leg, and realized that I had been stung by a wasp (I saw it fly off).

It made me wonder what I had did to provoke it. Not only did I come to the conclusion that wasps are easily provoked, but unlike bees (who lose their stingers once they've stung a person), wasps can attack you as much as they want.


In all honesty, I have a very irrational fear of bees. I understand how important they are to nature, but I still don't care for them regardless. One thing I really dislike about bees is how they have a tendency to sting so much, sometimes for almost no reason at all. In fact, my dislike stems from a childhood experience, which I'd rather not go into detail about.

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