Something of a rare privilege to catch site of the endangered leopard snake in the background.
A global effort needs to be made to protect bees and other pollinators.
A working partnership that pays huge dividends.
Whenever I look at this photo I have to smile – there’s a bee inside that I watched for two or three minutes.
Round and round he went until I tapped on the end of a petal and left my finger there.
He crawled out on my fingernail doing a little dance flexing his wings and mumbling to himself then fired up the engine and became airborne.
He was so heavily laden with pollen I wasn’t sure he could achieve liftoff.
As a child I never saw a plane overhead and wanted to fly, but I would see bees and butterflies and wish I had wings.
Whenever you see a lone bee such as the one above you can be assured it’s an advance scout and more will follow.
If you look closely you can see how pollen laden his legs are, when he returns to the hive to dance out the news and directions he’ll be able to provide a sample as well.
When you take everything into consideration humanity has evolved into an invasive species, our host the earth doesn’t benefit from our presence and it seems to only be getting worse.
Better if we all attempted to create a symbiotic relationship like the one between bees, butterflies, and plant life – better if we made an effort to preserve and cultivate rather than ravage and deplete – better if we moved beyond the concept of dominion over all things.
Monsanto and the FDA bringing you a better world at times ably assisted by the EPA.
The problem with government agencies are manifold, a part of which may be under funding, but for the most part it is about the lack of public oversight and their willingness to minimize health threats to mollify corporations like Monsanto.
Now everybody understands that toxic agents created to kill weeds are just that, toxic and poisonous, and to say levels of exposure are acceptable never addresses the real threat of the affects of cumulative exposure or an extended period of time.
Monsanto is a juggernaut that doesn’t a damn about any of that – they could care less if bees die, honey is chemically tainted, or your cereal and food glow in the dark.
For the EPA to characterize the presence of glyphosate as a “technical violation” they’re not willing to pursue on the basis it’s “almost” non toxic to humans and animals would be funny if the truth weren’t a different matter.
Governments across the world and even school districts are moving to ban it’s usage and you can be sure Monsanto will launch a battery of attorneys to contest this through any and every means at their disposal.
Glyphosate has been shown to create resistance to antibiotics and disrupt hormonal activity, it is a carcinogen and is suspected of playing a role in kidney disease – not to worry though as the EPA considers that to be merely a technical violation rather than a serious threat to you or your children.
Sri Lanka has banned Monsantos Roundup for that reason and other nations like Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Canada are taking a second look.
It’s interesting to me that wannabe social activist Bono has partnered with Monsanto to exploit Africa as being about business and a good thing – maybe Bono can haul the band to Sun City in South Africa and do a benefit concert for Monsanto forgetting for the moment that in playing for change that Africa and the “don’t need no more trouble” as Monsanto wages war against humanity.
I’ve blogged about grandfather, his relationship with bees, and honey in the past – it won’t be long now before grandfather’s bees make their appearance as winter heads toward Spring.
Anticipation is running high and last years cache running low, a matter of concern as grandfather along with the rest of us have what we jokingly refer to as a certain “snobbery” when it comes to honey – we want to know exactly where it comes from and one might even say be on speaking terms with those who produce it.
I say grandfather’s bees with affection as he is the one who knows their songs and leaves a small bowl of honey for them as an offering and expression of gratitude.
There’s a story related to that I’ve recounted in a previous blog, in time grandfather will select an apprentice from among his grandchildren to present to his friends the bees, if found acceptable he will teach the candidate the songs he learned long ago and a friendship based on understanding and mutual respect will continue in a generational manner.
Grandfather says these songs are universal in nature, it doesn’t matter where a person may be if their heart is right, they are of good spirit, or the language spoken, that the bees will understand and respond – that such songs exist throughout our nations and their many tongues.
Some no doubt would think this a quaint notion, maybe something to smile about and wish it were so, if such were said to grandfather he would probaby smile let it go at that knowing that the truth of the songs trumps other considerations.
I remember as a child being fascinated by bees, the role they played in the natural world and the huge benefits derived from their efforts.
I remember the many related stories, stories handed down from one generation to the next and thinking that bees must be the most perfect of creations , my opinion hasn’t changed, and now that I am no longer a child I think it a privilege and a honor to pay homage in the retelling of these stories to little ones about one of humanities best and most selfess friends.
I’ve got a thing about bees inspite of having been stung a few times as a child – haven’t been since then as I’ve come to understand them.
The first rule is to respect their territory, don’t make a lot of loud noise, or begin swatting at them if they’ve drawn near to take a closer look.
Funny thing is that at times if I’m running a power tool like a saw and they’re around they don’t seem to like it – the noise aggravates them.
Understandable as people won’t exactly gravitate to such sounds even though it’s common and acceptable to those in the construction trades.
Bumble Bees seem to take particular offense and even will become aggressive – same approach though, bad idea to swat at them.
Interestingly bees have an acute sense of smell, they can detect odors through their legs, antenna, and mouth.
As I understand it receptors vary depending on body location – I’ve noticed that different types/piles of sawdust seem to have an attraction to them.
No nectar or pollen in sawdust that I’m aware of so I assume the attraction is based on smell. I haven’t conducted a survey or offered a questionnaire but I’d say judging by personal observation cedar has a certain allure though it is a favored repellent for moths in closets and drawers.
Someone told me there is a men’s aftershave that smells like cedar, since I have no need of aftershave I wouldn’t know but had to laugh when they likened it to pheromones in a bottle when it comes to attracting women, maybe something for those “metro” men to try.
Certain colors attract bees, like the purple of blessed thistle or a morning glory and yet I’ve been told they don’t perceive the color red, I suppose that inability is compensated for by sense of smell and visual recognition of a flower.
As a kid I can recall a couple of times when I plucked a morning glory flower to suck on the end for the nectar, kind of a treat as it was sweet and sweet was always in short supply – later I found out some species can induce a high or even a psychotic reaction.
I never experienced that, didn’t fall into a trance, get high, have visions, or become a morning glory addict and have to go rehab, but in knowing that I’m content to admire their beauty, scent, and leave it at that while suggesting others do the same.
Makes me wonder though if bees get high on morning glories kind of like cows will on silage? Which can be really funny as silage ferments.
Bees supposedly aren’t aerodynamically suited to flight and yet they fly – too bad the same can’t be said of humans.
It’s gotten cold enough now where bees have retired for the winter, they’ve laid up stores and have the ability to maintain a constant temperature within the hive – don’t know if they play board games to wile away the winter hours or have a library to avail themselves of but they’ve generationally cultivated a lifestyle that suits them.
Maybe they have elders and story tellers like grandfather, I’d like to think so.
What I do know is the world would be a radically different place if not for them.