The Beauty Venture: bees. by Toby Neal
I love bees. I've never been afraid of them, and find their song and hum to be both soothing and invigorating. I love their hard work, their organization, their dedication to their Queen. They exemplify a harmonious and productive collective society. They seem the apogee of a sensible insect.
And they make honey. What's not to love?
Here are some cool facts about bees:
- A single bee colony can produce more than 100 pounds of extra honey and this is what is harvested by the beekeeper.
- It takes one colony of honey bees (around 30,000 bees) to pollinate an acre of fruit trees. Pollination success increases if there are more honey bees present at the time of peak flowering.
- A colony of honey bees in summer has 50-60,000 bees.
- A honey bee flies up to 15 mph and its wings beat 200 times per second or 12,000 beats / minute.
- A normal colony of honey bees contains only one QUEEN who may lay 2,000 eggs per day during her busy season
- There may be 60,000 or more WORKER bees (undeveloped females ) who do all the work. There will also be several hundred DRONES (Male bees).
- A worker bee gathers in her entire life 1/10 tsp of honey.
- It requires 10000 worker bees to gather a pound of honey.
- Bees fly the equivalent of more than twice around the world to gather a pound of honey.
- The average life of a honey bee during the working season is about six weeks.
- Honey varies in color from white through golden to dark brown and usually the darker the color the stronger the flavor.
- The value of bees pollinating fruits, vegetables and legumes is 10 times the value of honey produced. Natural pollinators are disappearing rapidly and each year we become more dependent on honey bees for many of our daily foods.
- Honey is one of the safest foods – most harmful bacteria cannot live in honey for any length of time.
The worldwide death of bees makes me so sad I can hardly read about it. We need them. Let's keep looking for a cure, and celebrating the ones we have.
I wrote about the spiritual experience I had in December under my Surinam cherry tree. When I hear bees, I just want to stop, and listen, and wonder.