Tuesday, February 28, 2012


"How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour, And gather honey all the day from every opening flower." Isaac Watts, Against Idleness



Every four years we are treated to an extra day on our calendar, that helps keep things running smoothly time wise.  Julius Caesar was the first to figure this out, which was very important in that time. Precision was important because if you planted seeds at the wrong time, you might have a famine on your hands!
Leap Year 1916 Newspaper
 Here are some fun facts about Leap Day/Year:
  • There is a one in 1,461 chance that a person is born on Leap Day.
  • Leapsters will never have a 'golden birthday'. Leap Day babies would have to be 116 before they turn 29 on the 29th.
  • Some people believe it gives a woman the right to propose to a man on a Leap Day/Year.
  • When a baby is born on Leap Day, physicians will ask the parents to choose either February 28 or March 1 for the birth certificate.


Yesterday we learned about the life cycle of a bee. We also learned the difference between a queen, worker and a drone. But how can you tell the difference between a gentle honeybee and a killer bee?

'Killer bees' or Africanized honeybees originally came from 26 Tanzanian queen bees accidentally released in 1957 in Brazil. They were an experimental hybrid by a biologist,Warwick E. Kerr, who interbred bees from Europe and southern Africa. He was attempting to breed a strain of bees that would produce more honey and be more productive. The African queens and drones mated with local queens and drones and their descendants have since spread through the Americas. 

The sting of the Africanized Honey Bee is no more potent than a garden variety honey bee, and they have a similar appearance. What makes Africanized honey bees more dangerous is that they are more easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in great numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances. An Africanized bee colony can remain agitated longer and may attack up to a quarter of a mile away from the hive.

Is it possible to tell an Africanized honey bee from a regular honey bee just by looking at it? The answer is no, because the size difference is very subtle. Africanized honey bees are about 10% smaller, but the only way to be sure is by laboratory testing. The most notable differences are the Africanized honey bee trait to nest almost anywhere, including close proximity to humans and their increased defensiveness. All honey bees are defensive; that means, if a colony is disturbed, guard bees will come out of the hive to defend against the possible intruder. Regular honey bees will send out 5-10 bees to defend an area about 20 feet around the colony but Africanized honey bees may send out several hundred bees to defend an area up to 40 yards around the colony.

How many times can the Africanized honey bee sting? All female worker bees can sting only once. A portion of their abdomen remains with the stinger when she flies away and she dies soon afterwards. Male honey bees or drones do not sting, as they have no stinger. If you swat at a bee and crush its body by swatting, it produces an odor or pheromone that tells other bees to attack you. Swatting agitates the bee and causes it to sting more readily.

Keep pets and children indoors when using weed eaters, hedge clippers, tractors, power mowers, chain saws or other power equipment until you are certain no bee colonies are in the area. Honey bees are sensitive to unusual odors and loud vibrations. Attacks frequently occur when a person is mowing the lawn or pruning shrubs and trees and disturbs a colony. Leave the area quickly if you are attacked. The attack could last until the victim leaves the area. Cover your face using your hands and arms to protect your eyes and mouth.Seek shelter inside enclosures where the bees cannot enter such as a car, house, tent or other building.

Tomorrow we explore everyone's favorite~honey!

What did the bee cross the road?
Just bee-cause

What kind of cars do bees drive?
a Bee-mer

What sort of vehicle does a bee drive?
an automobeel

Where do baby bees sleep?
in apricots (apiary cots)

What is the hives favorite Beatles song?
Let It Bee


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