"Bees" is the eighth episode of the B Series of QI and the 20th episode overall. It was first broadcast on BBC Two on 26 November 2004. It featured no new panellists.


Numbers in brackets mark appearances - e.g. "(2)" means "(second appearance)".

  1. Rich Hall (7): 5 points
  2. Fred MacAulay (1): 4 points
  3. Jo Brand (8): -8 points
  4. Alan Davies (20): -19 points


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  • Bees discovered that the world was round, as they used the Sun as a radar to find nectar. Out of all the bees in the world, only the honey bee dies, when it stings you, but wasps are more likely to die after stinging you.
  • Bees buzz because they control their breathing through 14 valves on their body known as spiracles.[1] Less than 1% of the noise comes from their wings. The bees breathing is a comparison to a human using a trumpet.
  • Barnacles were thought to be the embryos of a barnacle goose. Barnacles have the biggest penis of any existing animal, relative to their size. It's 7 times bigger than its shell.
  • Nelson inspired his men after he died by asking them to store his body in a barrel of brandy on the journey back from Cape Trafalgar to Portsmouth. It's believed that his men used tubes of macaroni through the barrel to have a drink and the phrase "Tapping The Admiral" was made, but this story is believed to be untrue.
  • Male anglerfish are deemed to be pathetic compared to their female counterparts, because they are 6 times smaller and after latching on to the female while mating, they disappear until their testes were left on the female's body. The rod on top of the anglerfish's head is bioluminescent.
  • Chicken tikka masala was invented in Glasgow and it glows in the dark, thanks to a company called Biolume, who have created a chemical that makes food glow in the dark. Chicken tikka masala doesn't exist in Bangladesh or India. In a restaurant in Glasgow, a chicken tandoori was made and a customer asked for some gravy on it, so the chef improvised with tomato soup, cream and spices. It has no official definition, but it can be any temperature or any colour. Robin Cook claims it is the "great British national dish".
  • It's possible to live in Mexico and not get complaints from your neighbours about eating Smut, a fungus that is grown there.

General IgnoranceEdit

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  • Which has more caffeine – a cup of tea or a cup of coffee?[2] – A cup of coffee contain 3 times more caffeine than a cup of tea. Weight for weight though there is more caffeine in tea.
  • The only ball game completely invented in the United States is basketball.[3] Originally, the basket was a peach basket, but they didn't put a hole in it, so every time there was a score, they had to get a ladder to get the ball out. A woman then created netball, but she misinterpreted the rules and thought that you had to stay still when you received the ball. Volleyball was also invented at Springfield College like basketball and netball. Lacrosse was also invented in America, but it was before it became the United States.
  • Nelson's last words were "Drink, drink, fan, fan, rub, rub!"[4] This was a request to alleviate his symptoms of thirst, heat and the pains of his wounds from battle. He was given lemonade, water and wine to alleviate his thirst, he was fanned by a fan and another person massaged his back. "Kiss me, Hardy" is what was actually claimed to be said, "Kismet, Hardy" is completely made-up.


  1. Wings
  2. Cup of tea
  3. Baseball
  4. Kismet, Hardy
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