Honey bees have six (girl) powers to beat any comic super hero, and a few super villains. Every decent super hero has only one weakness; for bees it’s also their only defence: when a bee stings, it dies.
1. Super Flyers
Like Superman, bees are great flyers. A bee flies about 1000 km in her life. If she was human sized, that’d be like going five times around the planet. And she can carry 122 times her own weight.
2. Super Attractors
Like Magneto, honey bees use magnetism and electricity. They have their own navigational GPS thanks to millions of magnetic crystals inside them to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. Bees also have a negative electrical charge (static) which attracts positively charged pollen to their furry bodies.
3. Super Therms
Like Torch and Mr Freeze, bees cope with extreme temperatures. In the heat, air- conditioner bees fan their wings to cool the hive – bees have even been found living on a lava field at 60 ̊C. In the freezing cold, bees huddle in a tight ball, disengage their wing-muscles, and shiver to keep warm.
4. Super Smarts
Like Professor X, bees are super intelligent communicators. They are the only other creatures we know that use a symbolic language. The bee dance indicates direction and distance to flowers, and the quality. Bees also use smell to talk: the queen controls her family with pheromones. Bee brains are tiny but their neuron density is 10x ours. Bees can count, tell time, measure, memorize, solve problems and make decisions.
5. Super Food
Like Wolverine, bees have healing powers. Honey is nutritious, lasts forever, and is a healer too; killing bacteria and fungi. In humans, Manuka honey fights infections, and heals burns. Bees use sticky propolis to keep their hives germ-free; it’s anti-bacterial, and probably anti-cancer.
6. Super Transformers
Like Spiderman, bees can change their genetic structure. A queen bee is not born that way – any girl bee can become a queen. The worker bees prepare a royal baby by feeding it on royal jelly. This ‘genetic jelly’ triggers DNA which transforms the baby into a queen.