Can Bees Have Heart Attacks?



We know that honey bees work hard. They forage for food within a 4-mile range of their hive. They can fly up to 15 mph and their wings can beat about 200 times per second, or 12,000 beats per minute. Sometimes they visit 50 to 100 flowers on a collection trip. No wonder worker bees live only four to six weeks during their peak season. They literally work themselves to death. So, can bees have heart attacks? The short answer is no. A heart attack happens when fatty deposits, clots, etc. block the coronary artery that leads to the heart muscle. So, to have a heart attack, you need a heart and arteries. While bees do have a heart, they have no arteries or veins because they have an open circulatory system. All their organs just float in a goo called “hemolymph” — a combination of lymph and blood. Consequently, there’s no way for their heart to stop receiving blood flow.