“ Animal Species: Insect „
Bees are fascinating. Most folk just don't realise how many different species there are - can't say I do myself, but there must be dozens, probably hundreds. Of course, everybody knows the Honey Bee and the Bumble Bee, but there are all manner of different ones, of all sizes, shapes, and colours. And they're not all sociable - many are solitary, living alone and yet their lives are just as interesting as those of their more familiar cousins.
Every March, come a warm and sunny day, I look forward to the arrival of the 'Orange Bummed Bees' as I call them, in my small suburban garden. Of course that's not their real name, I haven't yet determined exactly what they are, but they're fairly small bees, black and furry, with a deep orange 'bum', and I love watching them quartering the grass at low level and systematically drilling holes in the rough borders around the trees, leaving little 'mole hills' each with a neat little tunnel running into it. If you watch carefully, you'll notice that these occur in little groups of about six to eight mounds attributable to each individual, and several bees will hold similar territories around the garden. I don't know whether its the male or the female that does this, but I assume that one egg is laid in each hole.
Are the bees in March newly emerged from last years eggs, or did they hatch last year and have hibernated somewhere over the winter? So many questions. Of course the mounds are a little unsightly, and a bit of a nuisance at the time of year I want to get the lawn looking nice, but I can't help but to carefully mow around them so as not to disturb these wonderful creatures. And yet if they do accidentally get trampled, the bees are soon back on the scene and they are magically restored.
Another species - even smaller in size - I spotted one day flying into the hole in the top of a bamboo garden cane stuck in the ground. I thought I'd imagined it at first as the bee seemed to disappear down an impossibly small hole. But I watched for a while and it suddenly re-emerged and flew off, returning some minutes later carrying a small cut section of leaf, which it carried into the hole. It repeated this process all day until the hole was completely sealed with bits of leaf, undoubtedly with the egg sealed inside. Unfortunately, I never saw that bee again, and have no idea how long it was before the young one emerged, but I always leave lots of canes about now in the hope of attracting more.
I really like bees. I think they are very clever and think they are also hardworking and work in a team. They all work for their queen and all have different roles and work as a community to get the job done.
Also I really like natural honey! I love the sweet runny honey which is delicious! So naturally I like bees as they make a delicious product which can be spread on toast, sandwiches and even be used in things like yoghurt to make it taste sweeter!
One bad thing with bees though is that they can sting you but only if they think you are going to hurt them. Unlike horrible wasps they don`t sting you for no reason. However bees normally die if they sting you so they only do so if they really think you are going to hurt them. Being stung be a bee really hurts though and can if in the right place actually kill!
Bees play a very important role in pollination and without them lots of plants and types of food would not even exist!
Overall I really like bees as I feel they work together well as a community and all have different but important roles. I like this and the way they work as a community as it shows us what we should do instead of arguing and moaning with each other. Also bees make honey which is delicious! The only problem is that you would not want to be stung by one!
"We bring Messages,
Lessons, and Healing
Yellow, as Dawn's promise,
Inky with Wisdom beyond our years...
to the last
each of our kin!
Brew Sunshine into Medicine,
Transform Blossom into Stone,
Dance 'neath candled domes,
Create Royalty from common drone,
Sing of Maiden, Mother and Crone!
United, We Sing!
Hover too near
our chosen site,
and suffer our daggered bite!
All Hail the Queen, and bow!"
Who Sings Now?
"Many hands make light work." ~John Heywood
"Aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it, so it goes on flying anyway." ~Mary Kay Ash
"No bees, no honey; no work, no money."
"All the honey a bee gathers during its lifetime doesn't sweeten its sting."
"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey." ~various proverbs
There are around 20,000 known species of bees around the world. Bees feed on nectar and pollen, and Honey bees produce, well, honey. Honey bees survive winters by staying within the colony. The queen, who is the only fertile female in the hive, begins egg laying in mid to late winter, to prepare for spring. Queens rarely leave after establishing a hive and laying larvae that reach adulthood.The queen deposits each egg in a cell prepared by the worker bees. The egg hatches into a small larva which is fed by nurse bees, and after a week of being sealed up in their cell they emerge as adults. All workers within the hive are the Queen's infertile sisters. For the first ten days of their lives, the female worker bees clean the hive and feed the larvae. After this, they begin building comb cells. On days 16 through 20, a worker receives nectar and pollen from older workers and stores it. After the 20th day, a worker leaves the hive and spends the remainder of its life as a forager. The population of a healthy hive in mid-summer can average between 40,000 and 80,000 bees.
Both workers and queens are fed "royal jelly" during the first three days of the larval stage. Royal jelly is secreted from glands in the heads of young workers and fed directly to potential queens in greater supply than they could consume. Workers are switched to a diet of pollen and nectar or diluted honey, while those intended for queens will continue to receive royal jelly. This causes the larva to develop to the pupa stage more quickly, while being also larger and fully developed sexually. Queens are not raised in the typical horizontal brood cells of the honeycomb either. The typical queen cell is specially constructed, much larger, and has a vertical orientation. However, should the workers sense that the old queen is weakening, they will produce emergency cells known as supersedure cells. These cells are made from a cell with an egg or very young larva, and protrude from the comb. At pupation the workers cap or seal the cell. As the queen finishes her larval feeding, and pupates, she moves into a head downward position, from which she will later chew her way out of the cell. Just prior to emerging from their cells, young queens can often be heard "piping." The purpose of this sound is not yet fully understood.
Bumble bees have fewer individuals than honeybees in the hive, nor do they store mass amounts of honey. However, they are one of the few creatures that are able to control their body temperature. The queen and her workers can shiver their flight muscles in cold weather to warm up and be able to operate at lower temperatures than other insects. Their larger size and fuzzy coat help too. This skill is linked to the control of body, mind and spirit, much like a Yogi master, and those with this totem often have strong links with past lives, can benefit from Yoga, and make good hypnotherapists. Honey bees have a barbed stinger that often detaches itself when the bee pulls free, which usually results in the bee dying. However, bees can escape intact to sting again! Drone honeybees, the stinger-less males, do not forage for nectar or pollen. In some species, drones are suspected of playing a contributing role in the temperature regulation of the hive, however, the primary purpose of a drone bee is to fertilize a new queen. Multiple drones will mate with any given queen in flight, and each drone will die immediately after mating; the process of insemination requires a lethally convulsive effort. Bee flight is still something of a mystery, and all bees have a touch of "achieving the impossible" about them.
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."~ Muhammad Ali
"It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised; the mosquito is swatted. -- Marie O'Connor
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead, anthropologist
All bees are productive creatures, as evidenced by common phrases like "busy as a bee" and "humming like a hive". Bees remind us that while being productive is good, sometimes slowing down and taking the time to smell the roses is the productive activity. This attitude keeps us well balanced and able to "catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"...although what a bee would do with a fly I don't know! There are many benefits we receive from these remarkable creatures. Honey is an excellent source of vitamin b complexes, carbohydrates, and a much healthier sweetener than cane sugar. Sugar is a crystalline carbohydrate extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets. It is a non-nutritive empty calorie that actually robs the body of vitamins and minerals. Sugar is addicting and perhaps the biggest culprit of ill health in our society today. I know it is my own worst habit!
Raw honey has been useful as an antimicrobial agent and antioxidant for centuries, and can be directly applied to open wounds! One study in India compared the wound healing effects of honey to a conventional treatment (silver sulfadiazene) in 104 first-degree burn patients. After one week of treatment, 91 percent of honey treated burns were infection free compared with only 7 percent receiving the conventional treatment. Other phytonutrients found both in honey and propolis have been shown to possess cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties. Between four and ten tablespoons of honey a day, depending on weight, will show a significant rise in a person's antioxidant levels. Honey is excellent for soothing sore throats, especially with lemon. Honey and Royal jelly are good for the digestive system, keeping our moods regular, our skin, easing allergies, and as a burn treatment. Of course, the quality of the honey is only as good as the nectar from which it was made.
Bees are vital pollinators for most plants and trees. Without their many visits to and fro, our crops might never yield! It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of this accomplished by bees. This is an important thing to remember now that bees are leaving their hives and "mysteriously" abandoning us. Personally, I don't find it that mysterious when we have lived so many generations directly out of harmony with the World around us. I see this as yet another symptom of just how badly humans have thrown off the natural balance. For those of you who have not already read about this distressing state of affairs, here is a link for more information...
http: //www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/business/ 27bees.html?ex=1330232400&en=3aaa0148837b8977&ei=5088
Many are attributing this to Colony Collapse Disorder and Wikipedia has some information about this, although it just seems like this is simply saying "we're killing off bees with the way we live our lives, but we don't want to accept any blame for that." Could just be the way I see things though lol, so make up your own mind on that account.
http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Colony_Collapse_Disorder
Bees have amazing methods of communicating, the two most notable being through pheromones and movement. Workers that have found a good field of nectar will fly back to their hive and "dance" the directions to the other workers for the greater good of the hive. Queens can control the behavior of the hive by releasing pheromones for a wide variety of effects including: mating, alarm, food production and colony recognition. In all things, the hive works together to protect the Queen and the hive, as well as to produce the honey and wax necessary for a healthy hive. Among almost all cultures, we find many customs and traditions associated with honey. Births, weddings, funerals, all the major events in a lifetime have been touched by Bees. Mead (honey wine) has for centuries been renowned as an 'aphrodisiac' and the word Honeymoon is derived from the ancient Viking custom of having newly-weds drink mead for a whole moon (month) in order to increase their fertility and therefore their chances of a happy and fulfilled marriage. Honey has been used to sweeten dispositions, encourage fertility, protect from illness or evil, and to increase creativity and intelligence. We have long been mightily impressed with this tiny insect!
"Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy." ~Henry Kissinger
"The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it." ~Roseanne Barr
"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman." ~Anaïs Nin
Bees have been associated with Feminine power and especially Divine Females for countless ages. Associated with Hera, Isis, Brigid (Bride), Athena, Cerridwen, Freya, Demeter, Gaia, Rhea, Cybele, Artemis...just about any Goddess of note was said to keep a special hive of bees or have some connection to this Teacher! Being ruled by a Queen does make Bees stand out a bit in the natural world, but as always, as long as all things are done in moderation the Bee example is a fine one to follow! Healing, order, prosperity, creation/creativity, the storing of power, preservation of knowledge, increase of sensuality, increase of intuition, unity and united efforts are all just as strongly linked to Bees as the concept of powerful feminine energy though. They have also been associated with Shiva, Vishnu, Kama, Ra and Pan.
"You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman." ~Jane Galvin Lewis
"Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try and give their best qualities to men - bring them softness, teach them how to cry." ~Joan Baez
Balanced Bee people are productive, drawn to and welling with a sweetness of personality, committed to their "hive", inventive, gentle, social, co-operative, community minded, and healthy individuals. Beware rousing their anger though! Not only might they react with quite a sting, but they can draw others into joining forces with them against a "common enemy"! Bee people also need to be aware of how they are giving out their time and energy as bees will wear themselves out in the service of their hive. Trust your intuition in all things.
Are those you give to appreciative? Do they return the same kind of generous and kind energy to the World around them? If not, perhaps you ought to rethink your position as Bees truly flourish only with a well-balanced give and take between all members of the hive. Don't be afraid to say no! All too often I've been pulled away from something because someone has asked for my help "for a minute" and before I know it the day is gone and my chosen task has been left in the dust! Bee people also benefit from a study of aromatherapy, the language and uses of flowers, trees and plants. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are common occurrences in those called by Bee, so good nutrition and fitness habits are vital.
Bee people often find that they must put out a large amount of effort in the beginning, but that everyone and everything will come together to aide you as time goes on. Bee people need to connect to the World around them in a wide variety of ways and to share themselves with a network of like-minded folk. Stressful conditions will often cause Bee people to feel the need to simply fly away, like Bees who abandon a hive that has become too crowded. It's OK to court the need for variety, to try something new, to end old habits in favor of better ones, but beware using any of these things as an excuse to simply fly off the handle. Out of balance Bees might be too controlling, obsessive compulsive, too dependent, or over-analytical.
Bees need to keep a "clean house" for decay will attract predators. Aggression is also dangerous for Bee people as stinging words can bring about an abrupt death in a relationship, whether between friends, family, or lovers. Bee venom has been used in the treatment of diseases such as Arthritis, Rheumatism, Multiple Sclerosis and other painful, aching conditions. Toxic substances have long been known to be extremely powerful healers when used in the right dose or combination with other drugs or substances. So, it's not always what you say...it's how you say it, and of course suiting actions to words is always important. It isn't enough to hum the tune, you gotta dance to share the good in life! Many people fear bees and rightly so as the bee sting can be deadly to those with intense allergic reactions or diabetes. Yet, we often learn the most from what we fear. Those with a fear of bees should examine their lives and how it relates to this remarkable creature. Do you perhaps fear commitment to others, despise orderliness, or your own feminine powers of intuition and sensuality? Bears, Mites, and Fire are balancing energies for Bees and should also be examined. How do Bees appear in your life?
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best..." and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called." ~ A.A. Milne
"How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!"
"The goal is to live a full, productive life even with all that ambiguity. No matter what happens, whether the cancer never flares up again or whether you die, the important thing is that the days that you have had you will have lived." ~Gilda Radner
There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in nine recognized families