Saturday, December 5, 2015

Botanical Garden Part 3: The Buzzing Bee

Brave and buzzing bees! I am grateful for the little bee. Imagine all the wonderful things we would not have if it were not for the bee. Fruit, vegetables and delicious honey!

  The first time I was stung by a bee, I was picking a bouquet of dandelions when I smooshed a bee. Poor thing! Although at the time I was sobbing and only had sympathy for my own injury. The bee's flattened body was pressed against my foot. 

 Worker bees create only about 1/12th of a teaspoon in their entire life. I love to put honey in my tea. Usually I will have about a teaspoon of honey in each mug of tea. Next time I drink tea I will think about the 12 little bees that spent their entire life creating the honey in my tea. I found this information from the National Honey Board.

I have marveled before about the cuteness of bee's. An animal that stings us and causes us harm should not be so cute! Stripes and a fuzzy butt, doesn't get much cuter than that! They sting us, but they also make honey for us (well, maybe not for us, but we do enjoy it!), so I suppose their honey making skills earn them their cute appearance.

 Remember for a while there was controversy about how bees fly? People claimed that scientists could not explain how a bee could fly because it was impossible based on what we knew about physics. This was used as a way to discredit evolution. Well, the mystery is solved, so no more using the honey bee to disclaim evolution. The way bee's fly is by flapping their wings so quickly, scientists had to use high speed photography to truly capture the movement of a bee wing. Honey bees flap their wings 230 times every second. Here is an interesting article about it from LiveScience.

Colony Collapse Disorder reminds me of the story of the Roanoke Colony. CCD is when for no known reason, most of the worker bees seem to just vanish, leaving behind their queen and all their worker bee duties. The Roanoke colony also disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The colony had about 100 people who were left in present day North Carolina to establish a colony. The governor of the colony, John White left for a supply run to England. When he returned, all of the colonists had disappeared. There was no signs of violence and the only clue to their whereabouts was a word carved into a structure. The word was "Croatoan." White thought that the message meant the colony had moved to the island of Croatoan, but after White searched the island, it was clear the colony was not there. The mystery of what happened to the inhabitants of the Roanoke colony remains unsolved. It is as if they flapped away to parts unknown, like a honey bee vanishing into the sky. Here is an article about the Roanoke Colony.

Science is finding more and more evidence that animals are autonomous, sentient beings. Recent studies have found that the bee is not just a brainless-blah of a creature. Bee's have personalities! Just like humans, some bees are more adventurous than others. Here is a link to the study about bee personalities.

I have a lot more admiration for the bee after learning more about them. Here is an interesting article from Mental Floss about bee's and their amazing talents. 

Buzz on, little bee!

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