Friday, June 12, 2009

My New Babies

It's now official: I am a Beekeeper!
So is my Dad and nephew Codie who have decided to join me in this hobby. Who wouldn't choose to get into beekeeping after seeing these lovely girls?

These are my new babies. And I have named each and every one. Well, not really but I'd like to except that it would mean I'd have the hive open for much too long instead of leaving my bees to get to work building honey comb and having babies.

(Click the picture above to enlarge so you can see how beautiful these girls are. There's a couple boys there too - look for the BIG eyes).

You haven't heard much from me lately on this side of my blog house because all my posts the last while have been on The Bee Journal blog.

Here's me--well my gloveless hands in fact--holding a frame full of thousands of bees. See how they are calm and stay on their frame - they don't want to leave the babies they are carrying for.

By all means, feel free to pop over to The Bee Journal blog for a look. You don't even have to read it. I give you permission to just look at the pictures.

But here's some info about bees which I think should make you sit up and go, WOW!:

  • Did you know that boy bees are called drones? Yes they are. And they don't do anything in the hive at all. They can't even feed themselves and must be fed by the worker (girl) bees. Drones don't have a stinger either so you can pick them up to say hello. Drones do have a valuable role as sperm donors to ensure the next generations of bees are healthy strong and disease and pest resistant so we can't discount them as useless.
  • All honey bees have 5 eyes. The two large compound eyes you can easily see are for day time vision. They have 3 little ocilliae eyes on the tops of their heads which they use to see inside the dark hive or at night.
  • Bees have 2 stomachs - one for eating and the other is a storage container where they put the nectar they collect from flowers. So when the worker returns to the hive she regurgitates the nectar into the honey comb cell. Then they fan their wings to blow off moisture and to thicken it.
  • Honey is an antibacterial and can be put safely on your wounds. That's why your sore throat likes it. This is ancient medicine which doctors are now returning to, especially to help people with ulcers, like diabetics, that can't be healed with anything else. But honey does it perfectly!
  • Bees also make a substance called Propolis which they make from a gummy sap they collect from trees and buds. Propolis is an even better antibacterial agent than honey and helps a lot with healing.
  • The pollen bees collect is the powder from flowers that the bees stick to the pollen pouches on their back legs. This pollen is the protein source that they need to feed their babies so they'll grow up strong and healthy. Sometimes we'll take a little pollen ourselves to feel better or to help fight allergies.
  • Bees are mostly responsible for the ensuring we have the massive amount of crops and fruits and vegetables that we consume. They pollinate these plants which ensures they put forth seed for next year. They also increase the produce of plants. Without bees we wouldn't have so much food, or even chocolate! (Don't forget cocoa plants need to be pollinated too).
  • Bees are the only insect in the world that create food for humans. It's a special God given gift and it's wonderfully sweet of them to do it. So next time you see a honey bee make sure you say hello (don't pick it up though) and say thanks.

I could go on and on and on about bees as you can see. In fact, I've written a children's fictional novel about honey bees which I'm hoping to get published. So I'll try not to blog your ear off about them all the time!


Jan Mader said...

Awesome! I'm going to save this post for when I need to do some non-fiction writing for my educational publishers!!!!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Those are definitely some pretty bees! Have fun :-D

Kat said...

Thanks for sharing all that neat info on bees! I learned a lot today.

Barry said...

Great post. Bees are fascinating and I love honey which we taken to buying from a local provider.

Somehow local tastes better.

Any your girls are beautiful.