Monday, March 16, 2009
This is a close up of our elberta peach blossom with a very busy bee to the far right. Notice how much pollen she has gattered on her legs. She wasn't bothered at all by my presence. She was just too busy gathering her pollen and nectar to take back to her hive to feed her queen and to make honey.
The honey bee is our state insect (along with many other states). And most honey bees you see are all females. Only the queen lays eggs. The other worker bees have their female egg laying tube modified as a stinger instead of laying eggs. A wild hive of bees can contain up to 20,000 bees and some domesticated hive have as many as 80,000. Talk about community!!! But they have a very structured social order. And our food supply relies on this tireless little worker. I can tell you from first hand experience what a vegetable garden will do without many bees. We had very few bees a couple of years ago. Last year our neighbor put in a hive and they have expanded since then. Also found out that the forest service has been releasing honey bees in the wild. Last year we had a wild brood settle on our front porch. We were afraid they would settle in the walls of our house but thankfully moved on.
The honey bees are fasinating to watch and as long as they don't feel threatened they don't seem to mind you being around them. We could learn alot from a tiny honey bee....from living together in a community, by looking out for one another's needs and protecting our community, from their industrious ways and always on the move.