The bees. Did you know that bees do a dance to let their sister bees know the location and type of food (nectar, pollen, and water) the foraging bees have discovered for the hive? They have two common dances. The waggle dance and the round dance. If the food is further away they will perform the waggle dance. If the food source is nearby they do the round dance. Isn’t that awesome! Dancing bees!
A few years ago I grew interested in beekeeping. Now I’m fascinated by the bees. One of the best documentaries I’ve seen thus far about the bees is “Queen of the Sun.” Same people who made the documentary, “The Real Dirt on Farmer John,” which is also fun and inspirational.
I’m a beginning beekeeper with so much to learn. About a month ago I got this swarm of bees from a neighbor and this week is the first time I opened them up and took a peek. They’re flourishing. I already need to add another box for them to move up into! Yikes! What a lazy beekeeper! Our summer squash and strawberries are both blooming in the garden and I’m so pleased I have the bees around to pollinate. The truth is none of us would be eating like we do without the bees.
We need the bees to pollinate our food sources and who hasn’t yet been made aware that the bees are declining. Many people are committed to understanding why the bees are dying. I think we will get there. We will figure out what we can do to assist them. To start, perhaps we might reconsider shipping them from the east coast to the west coast to pollinate monoculture fruit trees in Fresno California. That drive is stressful enough for humans. Now we’re expecting the bees do it?
The mentality of the bees is truly amazing. They really know how to work as a team. The queen can lay up to 1500 eggs a day. A healthy queen can live up to 6 years of age. Did you know that the hive is comprised mostly of female bees who commit themselves and their short life span (3 weeks) to the queen.
How about the list of healthy reasons to eat honey. For my morning cup of warmth I drink hot water with raw honey a touch of apple cider vinegar and cardamom. It works for me! Some countries are now using honey in patients dressings for cuts and burns. It has antibacterial properties and can be used to prevent infection.
If you buy from someone you know you’re likely to get raw unheated delicious honey. Not the stuff they sell in Kroger. It’s processed. They extract all the yummy nutrients out and then sell it to the uninformed. I’m always willing to pay a few bucks more for my health. Aren’t you? Especially when it tastes so good. Last year we made several batches of honey wine or “mead.” Years ago it was common for newlyweds to drink mead for one month or one phase of the moon to assure the birth of a son. Thus, the term “honeymoon.” Now that’s good for the soul!
- First hive, a bit messy?
I’m still a bit nervous when I open up my hive. I’ve been stung in a few places that aren’t so pleasant to recover from. Like the face. But I will get there. I have sincere regard for the bees. If I can help them out by having a few hives in my own backyard, I will risk the stings. Some people are using the bees for “sting therapy.” Now that’s brave. It’s been know to help people with MS. The bees visit 2 million flowers to produce one pound of honey. That’s a lot of foraging friends. And we thought we were working hard!