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.