B is for Bees
If there were no bees, there would be no crops, and humans would starve – they really do perform that important a role in life on earth.
Here is a fabulous photo of a bumblebee by Matt Cornock on Flikr:
Scientists believe that there were bees as long as a 120 million years ago.
Today they are facing a huge number of problems that are threatening their (and our) existence.
One of the most worrying is the exposure to chemicals called neonicotinoids that are in insecticides such as Roundup. Why we should be surprised that a chemical designed to kill insects is affecting bees I don’t know.
Other problems that are stressing bees is a lack of forage plants, exposure to herbicides, as well as the insecticides. They are also being infected by various diseases and mites.
We all need to help bees, and ways of doing this include not pulling up weed plants such as dandelions early in the season, as bees rely on them to survive until the warmer weather comes.
Also, planting wild flowers and plants that bees enjoy in your garden.
BUT – MAKE SURE that any seeds or plants you use are not impregnated with chemical insecticides, or you will instead be killing your bees!
Interesting facts about bees:
They buzz in the key of ‘A’, unless they are tired, in which case they buzz in the key of ‘E’.
Bumblebees have hair on their eyes.
Bees do a waggle dance when they get back to their hive to show the other bees where they have found a good food source.
In other words, they use sign language.
One last thing – if you come across a bumble bee, or other type of bee, that is looking tired and drowsy, just resting on the ground, then it may have overloaded itself with pollen. It will unable, through tiredness and lack of food, to return home. You can save it, the instructions are here, by the RSPB.
Here is a bee poem – first published in ‘What Shape is a Poem’, chosen by Paul Cookson, Macmillan, 2002.
.Photo © Matt Cornock
Poem © Liz Brownlee
Information from Wiki.
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