There are numerous bee species (Apoidea). In Belgium alone, more than 380 species have been identified. Among those, you have bumblebees and Osmia bees.
Wild bees and honeybees are essential to our ecosystems. Their ecological and morphological characteristics make them complementary actors in the preservation of our environment.
In Belgium, only one subspecies produces honey, i.e. Apis mellifera L.
Honeybees live in colonies of several thousand individuals, giving them tremendous pollination potential.
A brief overview of honeybees:
A bee colony numbers about 50,000 bees and consists of one queen, more than 99% worker bees and, finally, the males or drones
On average, one colony will pollinate more than 4 billion flowers a year (1,300 tons of apples, 800 tons of pears, 128 tons of cherries, etc.). While doing so, they fertilise these plants and preserve biodiversity;
One bee will travel 1.5 km on average to forage but can travel up to 3 km. A radius of 1.5 km corresponds to an area of 700 ha, i.e. 1,000 soccer pitches, where bees forage and pollinate.
To produce 500g of honey, bees travel 40,000 km, i.e. the circumference of the earth.
1 bee will forage up to 250 flowers per hour. If you consider that one single colony numbers 10,000 foraging bees, that means that, between them, they forage 20,000,000 flowers per day!