"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." ~ Albert Einstein
Colony collapse disorder in bee populations has increased this year, wiping out as much as half of commercial honeybees. The New York Times has this story as front page news in their print version, but you can read online how this problem will mean smaller harvest and higher prices on produce.
Ingredients Magazine has an interesting article just out on the continuing problem of our Disappearing Honey Bees.
We rely on honey bees for one-third of our food supply (one out of every three bites), so when honey bees are in danger, we’re all in danger.
Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water; and it's the only food that contains "pinocembrin", an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
Bee friending the bees - Ways to help
- promote bee habitat - plants and flowers
- plant nectar producing plants
- do not spray insecticide
- wherever possible do not mow flowering plants (dandelions are a life saver for bees)
- support research - $
- gardening for honeybees: a bee needs water and flowers to survive. you can attract them with blue, purple, yellow or white flowers such as lilacs, honeysuckles, sunflowers and azaleas. bees also love herbs such as mint, lavender and thyme. They avoid flowers that have had the nectar and pollen bred out of them (like many contemporary rose breeds).
- consider becoming a backyard beekeeper
SOME RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON THE ART OF BACKYARD BEEKEEPING:
*The Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden by Kim Flottum
*The Beekeeper's Handbook by Diana Sammataro
*The Beekeeper's Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses by Richard A Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch
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Photo Art Friday:
"This week our optional theme/challenge is to create a piece of photo-art that contains some sort of graffiti. It can be a photograph of graffiti that you have digitally edited or a photograph upon which you have applied text to look like graffiti. As always, any piece of photo-art is welcome. Following the optional challenge is not obligatory - that's why it's optional!"