SECRET LIVES …
August 23, 2009 § 17 Comments
The garden required some cleanup following a major storm. The bees allowed me in and out as I worked cutting away broken stems and beat up blossoms. I am typically terrified, in bursts, by bees. Not that they mistake me for a flower, just that they seem so directionless and come bumbling at me and I think it’s a bullying tactic (whether or not it is, it’s effective) and I flee, also emitting the ritual girly scream. Yes, I’ve been stung and I hate it. (I also hate needles, shots, etc. Also, stinging is not popular with the bee himself because he leaves his stinger and venom pouch behind in the “stingee” and this ultimately ruptures his little abdomen and does him in.)
But yesterday, they were busy and pollen hungry and I was wearing nothing flower-esque and they let me go in and out among the flower bushes BUT they were quite possessive of the blooms that were heads-up into the sun. So, we gave one another space, except for those bees who tumbled over one another on certain flowers in pollen ecstasy…and then I grabbed my camera.
I haven’t read the book THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES yet. And now it’s a movie and I’m stuck in my book-movie rule of book first, movie second. Watching the bees yesterday and working among them has me curious although though the book is likely not bee-centric.
Interesting to note however, that honey bees ARE the only insects that produce food for us.
Their average life span during honey production time is six weeks. Good thing the queen lays about 2,000 eggs a day.
In a single day, a bee will visit from 50 to 1,000 flowers but can do thousands!
They travel at about 13 to 15 mph. That’s fast. You’d think it would blow the pollen off their little jointy legs. Other than when they’re in hover mode among the flowers, it’s no wonder we don’t often see them often, you know, like when we’re biking down the street or mowing the lawn. We might only hear that dopplered buzz.
Bees have five eyes. They can perceive movement separated by 1/300th of a second. We can perceive movement separated by 1/50th of a second. I knew it! I knew they can see and follow me. But they’re not really interested.
Bees cannot see the color red. Don’t ask me. No, I haven’t been a bee for a day but them’s the facts – no perception of the color red.
They communicate with one another about flower distance and location by “dancing” and are huge fans of the TV hit “So You Think You Can Dance.” (OK, no, but couldn’t resist.) Note however that if a bee were to watch a movie, it could perceive every frame of the movie – yup, that’s how highly tuned that five-eye movement perception thing works.
Now, what about the book? Is it good? Is it long and lovely or quick and pointed? Just curious.
blissful or busy? both, I hope.
And you can often easily tell where they’ve been, as they “track” pollen all over the flowers!