It is: 1 day till National Honey Bee Awareness Day
It is: 24 days till Labor Day
It is: 40 days till Fall
It is: 103 days till the theatrical release of The Good Dinosaur
In the Spotlight:
Sorry, I don't have anything to report on this week...but I do have a short video clip to show, since National Honey Bee Awareness Day is coming up:
Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
|Honey bees are very fascinating insects.|
The Honey Family (Snap, Snap)*
|The honey bee, like other insects, has a body made up of three parts (head, thorax and abdomen) and three pairs of legs.|
Some species of bees include carpenter bees, orchid bees, cuckoo bees and the bumblebee, which is capable of carrying nearly half its own body weight in pollen back to its hive!
|Bumblebees are incredibly strong for their size, as they are capable of carrying half its own body weight of pollen.|
|Honeybees live in huge colonies that can consist of over 80,000 individuals!|
As their title suggests, the workers carry out all the work in the hive. Worker bees are always female, and their job description includes building and (if need be) repairing their hive, defending the hive, raising the young, collecting food, cleaning the hive, making the honey and many other jobs necessary to keep the hive functional. No wonder they're so busy! In fact, worker bees are so busy, that during the time of year these insects are making and storing honey, they only tend to live five to seven weeks. Thankfully, the queen ensures that these frequent deaths don't deplete the population of the colony.
|Honeybees communicate via the "waggle dance", as seen above. The angle and distance of a honeybee's movements tells the other bees where sources of food or a good place for a new hive might be.|
|The worker bee in the center of the picture is performing the waggle dance.|
I've Got a Stinger and I Know How to Use It! (Or) Honey, I Stung the Kids
|"Honey, I stung the kids," this bee might say when she returns to the hive. Worker bees can only sting once, because they die soon after.|
The honeybee might beg to differ, however, as stinging a victim is dangerous for the bee. When a bee stings something, the entire stinger and venom gland are torn from the bees abdomen. This causes it to die soon after. This isn't the case with all bees though; bumblebees lack a barb on the end of their stingers, allowing them to continue stinging something several times if need be. (The same is true of queen honey bees, but since they rarely leave the hive, the chances of getting stung by one are extremely slim.)
Honeybees and the Flowers
|Honeybees are one of our most important pollinators.|
Nature's Honey Manufacturers
|Would you believe me if I told you that honey is technically honeybee vomit?|
The Queen Bee
|Though she's unlikely to win any spelling bees, the queen bee is one of the most important bees in the hive. Here, she is marked with a red dot by her researchers so they can easily locate her amid possibly 80,000 other bees.|
|These two queen bees are given royal jelly to help them grow into the roles as queens.|
|Did I mention royal jelly is sold for human consumption too?|
What About the Boys?
|Honeybee drones, or males, do not sting. Their only purpose in life is to mate with the queen bee.|
What Come Winter?
|In winter, honeybees, like these giant honeybees pictured above, gather together to conserve warmth.|
Once a Bee, Always a Bee
|We know exactly what the bees dinosaurs lived with looked like because they are perfectly preserved in fossilized amber. Believe it or not, these bees are almost identical to modern bees.|
We can learn a lot from bees found preserved in amber. For one thing, we can easily recognize these insects as bees. They've changed very little in the past (alleged) 100 million years. But while evolutionist scientists would argue that these fossil bees are like snapshots of their evolution, this can hardly be the case considering the bees are almost identical to modern bees. The fact that the bees are almost identical better fits a scientific model that evolution hadn't occurred at all in bees. We see no evidence in the fossil record to suggest that bees evolved from any other kind of insect. Instead, just like the Bible says in Genesis chapter one, the fossil record reveals that bees have been reproducing after their own kind. They were created during the creation week around 6,000 years ago and since then have diversified into tens of thousands of different species. But never once have bees developed into anything other than a bee.
|This little guy, er...girl, actually, is a Melipona bee, the kind of bee responsible for the pollination of vanilla plants.|
I hope you learned an unbeelievable amount of bee facts from this article. Tomorrow, as we celebrate National Honey Bee Awareness Day, be sure to spare a thought for these little creatures. Because if God had never made them, we'd never have beeswax, (vanilla in the case of the Melipona bees) or honey.
Happy National Honey Bee Awareness Day everyone!
Disclaimer: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via my email address.