Thursday, March 1, 2012

Disco Bee

"Eat honey, my child, for it is good." Proverbs 24:13


Apple Blossom


Sorry if some of you who access the blog by e-mail were unable to view yesterday's video. I hope you know you can always scroll down to the very bottom of this blog where it has the subscribe info, and there will be a link to go directly to the online version. I know my Blackberry will not do Flash, so some of you might have had problems viewing. If you did have problems and still want to view that video, here's the link to see it on You Tube.

Today I planted freesias so they could get a little more cold-in-ground time. The onions I planted back in January? are about 2" tall. I also planted more rhubarb, and was delighted to see my other rhubarb coming back.I'm going to use Aunt Ruth's great tip to freeze some rhubarb so we can have that killer rhubarb sauce in the winter when you cannot find any in the store. I added to my new indoor edible garden, with new lemon balm, spinach and basil. I have to say it sure was lovely having fresh thyme at my fingertips for cooking!

The apple, apricot and peach trees are all in bloom and the bees have bee-n busy, busy! As I was trying to photograph one close up today, it buzzed at me, and I said, "Sorry, know you're on a mission!"

Yesterday we learned all about how bees make honey; But did you know bees can dance?

It has long been known that successfully foraging bees perform a dance on their return to the hive, known as the waggle dance, indicating that food is farther away, while the round dance is a short version indicating that food is nearby.

In 1947, Karl Von Frisch, correlated the runs and turns of the dance to the distance and direction of the food source from the hive. The orientation of the dance correlates to the relative position of the sun to the food source, and the length of the waggle portion of the run is correlated to the distance from the hive. He learned also that the more vigorous the display is, the better the food. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973 for his discoveries.

In 2004, a scientist named Dr. Zachary Huang found that pheronmones play an important part in how a honey bee colony figures out who does what job. In order to survive, a bee colony of sometimes 50,000 to 100,000 individual bees has to be adaptable to the seasons and the availability of food. While the division of labor in a bee colony is quite complex, the work is pretty much broken down into work outside the hive and work inside the hive. Younger bees take the jobs inside the hive while the older bees are working outside the hive mostly as foragers.

Huang found that forager bees gather and carry a chemical called calledethyl oleate in their stomach. The forager bees feed this pheromone to the worker bees and the chemical keeps them in a nurse bee state. The pheromone prevents the nurse bees from maturing too quickly to become forager bees. As the forager bees die off, less of the chemical is available, allowing nurse bees to become foragers.And the cycle goes on...

Before we leave our subject of the fascinating bees, I must take a wee look at another bee, the Carpenter bee. We have several of these in our garden, and they can be destructive, as they are SO big, they chew a nest hole to burrow in.

Carpenter bees make nests by tunneling into wood, vibrating their bodies as they rasp their mouths against the wood, each nest having a single entrance which may have many adjacent tunnels. The entrance is often a perfectly circular hole. The Carpenter bee does not eat wood; rather, they discard the bitten bits of wood, or re-use the particles to build partitions between cells. The tunnel functions as a nursery for baby carpenter bees and a pollen/nectar food pantry for them to live on.

As a final wrap up, did you know bees can see in color? Tests and experiments have been done that prove bees can differentiate between certain colors, which helps in their identification of flowers, mainly which type of flowers would have the most pollen or nectar. Green seems to be the one color they have a problem with because very few flowers are GREEN!

Where do bees go to shop online?

Where do bees go on vacation?
to the bee-ch.

Why was the bee drummer kicked out of the band?
She couldn't keep the bee-t

Where do bees cook their dinner?
on the bar-bee-que!

What did the bees say after dinner?
that was bee-licious!


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