Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordy Wednesday: Plight of the Bumblebee

With the kids back in school this week, I thought I would do an educational post. A public service announcement if you will. Do you like apples, pears, or peaches? How about cucumbers, broccoli or onions? Pumpkins, squash or carrots? Blueberries, avocados, almonds or cherries? How about wearing cotton clothes? All of these crops, and more, must be pollinated by honeybees.


Approximately 30% of our food sources directly or indirectly depend upon pollination by bees.

Bees are the only insect that produces a food consumed by humans. Hives produce more honey than a bee colony needs to survive. About 80 pounds extra each year. Fermented honey, known as Mead, is the most ancient fermented beverage. The term "honey moon" originated with the ancient practise of consumming large quantities of Mead during the first month of a marriage. That honey contains vitamins such as B6, C, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.

Honey also has anitoxidants which help to delay damage to our cells and tissues.

Honey is an ancient remedy for treating infected wounds because of its antimicrobial properties.

People use beeswax to make candles, lipsticks, lotions, shoe polish, crayons, chewing gum, and floor wax. In the past sculptors used bleached bee’s wax to hide mistakes in their sculptures. The best sculptors were proud to say their statues were “sine cera,” or without wax. This is where we get the word “sincere.” (Hey, I even added a Latin lesson into your bee education.)
Even with all these cool and amazing traits of bees, my children still run in terror from them. How about you? How do you try to calm your children when they see a bee? Or are you running with them?

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36 comments:

Jen E said...

what great pictures! I love shots like this. :)

happy wednesday!

Swirl Girl said...

I tell my kids, "Are you a flower? No? Then the bee wants nothing to do with you. Leave it alone and it'll go away?

GBK Gwyneth said...

Beautiful, Kat!

SKELLER said...

owowowowowowowowowoWOW!
Kat-
Did you take these photos?!? Assuming so, did you get a new lens??? Or did you just crop everything closely? These are beyond beautiful; such fantastic wing detail and I can almost feel the fuzzyness!

And, of course, the addition of the Flight of the BUmblebee intro is simply inspired!!

Kat said...

Jen and Gwyneth--Thanks!

SwirlGirl -- Welcome back from your vacation! I tell my kiddos the same thing. That they don't smell anything like a flower. And last I checked they didn't have any pollen. So the bees are not interested in them. They are still such drama queens!

Susan--I did take them all. In my front yard. With my same camera. No new lense. Holding the camera - I dont' even own a tripod. They are cropped a lot. I love the way they turned out. Thanks for all your wows!

Lula! said...

Thanks for giving me some educating for the day. Good stuff. You totally have a PhD in my book!

Lula! said...

Thanks for giving me some educating for the day. Good stuff. You totally have a PhD in my book!

Firefly mom said...

Wow - those are terrific pictures Kat! What kind of flower is that? I love the color.

When we lived in California there was tons of news stories about bees and colony collapse disorder (which is killing them in droves). We then learned that most native bees are solitary and several species are even better pollinators than honeybees - but you don't get any yummy honey from them :)

Shannon said...

I am so the one who is running away... and yes, I have passed this trait on to my girls.

Your photos are great!

Rhea said...

I totally enjoyed that lesson! I learned a lot. And, I didn't know that Latin bit either. Very cool! Thanks, Mrs. Kat, for our lesson today!

I tell my kids to ignore bees. Not to freak out. And I try to do the same, while freaking out SILENTLY inside.

Romi said...

I feel so smart now, after reading this lesson.

I don't run from bees, mostly because I spend 3/4 of my time indoors, away from them :-)

Kat said...

Lula--Love me some edumacating. And I am glad to know I have earned a PhD from LulaU.

FM--Ummm...I have no idea. It's whatever the landscaper put there. :-) They look sort of daisyish to me. Daisyishus. That could be the scientific name, right? That colony collapse disorder is something else. Can you imagine not having all those things that bees pollinate? I keep trying to tell the girls how important they are. But it still falls on deaf ears.

Shannon--Oh, no! Don't run. They are not interested in you :-) You don't need to pet them. But you flail, they get scared.

Rhea--aren't Latin derivatives fun?! My other fav is villa, villa, f. country house. Derivative: villan. Why? Just imagine what the masses thought of those people living in country houses...

Romi--Right now we are in yellow jacket season. And the girls much prefer the inodoors to the possiblility of running into one.

Karen said...

Great photos, Kat!!

I think people forget what an important part, that honey bees, play in our life.

Something that really needs to be thought about, especially with the way they are disappearing. due to mites, viruses and other nasties.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diseases_of_the_honey_bee

Whe I first moved over to the US, honey bees were everywhere. Now it's been a couple of years since I've seen one. :-(

Brian and Staci said...

IMPRESSIVE pics! Wow! Never knew those little critter did so much! To answer your question...I try to be brave when Connor freaks out about a bee buzzing around...but inside my heart is racing...and I find myself calming down too when I'm telling him, "They are soooo much more scared of you than you are of it!" Spoken like a real brave mom huh?

Bobbi said...

Nice photos! You must have had to beeee very careful getting those shots!

Dancing Queen said...

man, everyone (but us) seems to be starting so early!! we don't start till aug. 25 & are on our big count down! hard to believe summer flew (buzzed) by so quickly!

so how was the reunion??

Teri said...

For some reason bees and spiders don't scare me. I tell the kids to chill out because those bees don't sting people. Just be concerned about yellow jackets. Yeah, yeah, I know. But it usually works.

Weith Kick said...

Ya know, I've never been stung by a bee before. Maybe it's because I'm not really afraid of them.

I heard a news report about a year ago that bees are dying and scientist don't know the reason for it. They have all sorts of theories but no one knows for sure.

Beckynsc said...

Honey bees are so few and far between here. I will go out of my way to keep from stepping on one, or I will rescue one from my pool. We really need them for so many reasons.

Kat said...

Karen--Thanks! I have so much fun taking the pictures. And then tweaking them on the computer. I know what you mean about the bees. That is what I keep telling the girls. Our county extension service was even offering free hives for people to start being backyard bee keepers. When I called...they were all out. I keep thinking I ought to try to get the materials myself...but with the girls...not sure that they would be on board.

Bobbi--You are so "punny."

DQ--The summer did "buzz" by! The girls started school last week. And my reunion was the first week of August. It was fun to see people I hadn't seen since high school. But I don't think it was worth the money. Next time I think I'll do the webpage thing...and maybe another get together that does not cost so much.

Teri--spiders don't bother me either. And again...my girls. I don't know where it comes from. I keep telling them to leave the spiders alone. They eat other bugs. Still deaf ears.

Weith Kick--I don't think I've been stung before either. I know I got a hornet sting when I was little. But that's it. I think you are right about the fear. The girls run and flail...no wonder they freak out the bees. And the disease - colony collapse disorder - is still a mystery.

Becky--aren't you sweet to rescue bees! I haven't seen any that need rescuing. except from my flailing children.

Margarete said...

What a beautiful post...no, I don't run any more...I'm up close like these pictures. :)

Angie's Spot said...

I swear, my i.q. has risen double digits since reading your blog. A WEALTH of info! And the music was very fitting.

On a side note, I can't believe I've dropped off the comment widget. That's what I get for changing my handle. :-)

Elena said...

That was just like watching the Bee Movie. :) I'm not afraid of bees. My dad used to have a hive when we were kids and he taught us how to pet the soft fuzz on a bee when they were sitting still on flowers. We'd also eat the honey straight out of the hive. So bees, no, not afraid. Hornets though, I hate. And my oldest daughter runs from everything. Even mosquitos. I guess there's no way to teach anyone to not be afraid, it's just something inside you. Beautiful pictures by the way. All of them; that lightening shot was GREAT! I love me a summer evening storm.

A family of boys said...

Those are wonderful photos and I loved the Public Service Announcement. :) We eat local honey from a friend of ours. My dh has some allergies and local honey is supposed to help with the local type allergies. It's worked a bit. One more reason to keep those bees buzzing.

Kelly said...

I'm also impressed by your photo-taking capabilities - gorgeous!
I love 'Swirl Girls' advice, "you're not a flower..." I'll be sure to use it next time my sissy kids are about to take off running!

Kysha said...

Wonderful photos! Love them. :)

Debbie said...

Oh no, I am running and swatting at the same time...

How did you get those pictures?

Mama Dawg said...

I don't run from the sight of bees and am trying to teach my daughter the same.

I love the music that's themed to this post. Very cute!

texcindy said...

brown recluse spiders terify me because i've seen what they can do. and we have them in texas. and I've watched a swarm of yellow jackets chase a person of the end of a dock before, resulting in several stings before the person jumped. they are mean. but otherwise, live and let live.

maybe photography wil become part of the homeschooling curriculum this year for Katie? she'd have a great teacher!

Heather said...

We follow them with our pinkies, hypnotizing them to go away. This song is perfect. Please tell me you've read "The Secret Life of Bees".

Sissy said...

I have been reading about that colony collapse disorder affecting our bees and it is so strange. Where are they going? So odd.

Jennifer P. said...

After having planted so many wildflowers this year, I have learned to live in harmony with the bees. THey stick to their work and leave me alone. Those stupid, good -for-nothing, bully wasps and yellowjackets though----UGH!!!

Jennifer P. said...

And I LOVED the Latin lesson!---I'm always fascinated by the origins of our words and phrases.

And, and you did a great job on those pictures!

Monica said...

Honey has vitamins, didn't know that! Thanks for the info!

Debbie said...

What no follies??? No homeschool update??? No post on Thursday??? Where are you???

Firefly mom said...

"Daisyishus"? I like it! Maybe they should put you in charge of coming up with plant names. At least it would finally make sense to me ;D