Busy as a Bee?
Think about that expression for a minute. Yes, it’s May. It’s an extremely busy time of year: end-of-school field trips, graduations, first communions, bridal showers, weddings, first vacations of the summer, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to catch a breath.
Now consider the phrase “busy as a bee”. From the minute they are born worker bees, ironically all female, have a job. They work together for the good of the colony. In the beginning they might work in the nursery, later they could work as house security, protecting the hive, or as undertakers, removing dead bees. Once they mature bees are promoted to field agents to forage and collect nectar and pollen to feed the colony. All this busyness is beneficial to you because honeybees and other pollinators are directly responsible for every third bite of food you take. Imagine what life would be like without apples, almonds, or avocados? And that’s only the A’s. And did you know it takes 154 trips out to forage just to make one teaspoon of honey? Talk about busy! There is never a glass of wine on the porch or a game of badminton on the front lawn.
You may have heard huge numbers of colonies have been dying lately. This decline has been termed Colony Collapse Disorder and while the definitive causes are still unknown there are steps we can take to help the bees. Plant flowers that are good forage sources for the bees like summersweet, coneflower, milkweed and sedum, to name a few. Limit or abstain from using pesticides which have been shown to be detrimental to bee health. The tastiest thing you can do is buy local honey.
Spring is a busy time of year but make sure to take some time to smell the flowers. And appreciate the honey bee that might be working in the center of them.