Friday, July 22, 2011

Count Your Bees

Have you visited Your Garden Show yet? They joined with The Great Sunflower Project. There you will learn all about bees. I know, I'm not a bee fan, either, if they are stinging me, but I  know the value a honey bee has for our world. This project would like your help in counting the honey bees in your garden. In case you didn't know, all around this country the bees are mysteriously disappearing. Here you can create your own chart and report their numbers, so Your Garden Show can track them and try to learn why our friendly pollinators are disappearing.
Without the bees cross-pollinating flowers, our crops could dwindle away. In Michigan we depend on the bees to do their work, so we can watch the apple, pear, peach and cherry trees bring forth their fruit.  And the honey that is derived from a mixture of these fruits in scrumptious!
We live in a bountiful land.  Let's keep it that way by protecting our honey bees.
It's very easy. Just pick one of the flowers on the list that might be found in your garden or neighborhood, then keep a close watch on the bees that visit daily. Next you'll send in your report. It's all set up for you and is ready to go. Just sign up and get started.

How to identify a honey bee:
* Are about the length of the nail on your thumb (an inch)

* Have gold to dark brown or black shiny abdomens with subtle stripes
* While they have hair, the hairs are sparse
* Have hairy eyes
* Females sting once and then die
* Are found year round
* Are not native to the US
* Carry pollen on their hind legs


Randy Emmitt said...

Jane Marie,

We've had a bee hive now for 2 months, they are doing great. Enjoy watching them, so far only one sting on my second hive inspection. Have fun counting, I watched some in giant sunflowers a month or so ago it was very cool and I got photos too.

Joys of Life said...

We've been "Bee Minders" for 3 years and never cease to marvel at these tiny creature- it isn't hard to fall in love with Bee keeping. Our very gentle "Italian" Bees are thriving in and around our garden and the benefits to us and neighbors continue to increase. We use no chemicals on the Bees or in our garden and thankfully have not experienced any colony collapse. There is a strong suggestion that chemicals are causing the collapse.
I have been stung one time only, after leaving the garden tractor running near some hives - won't do that again! Something to note, the Bees attack hormone is the same chemical that gives Banana its scent, so avoid walking near the hive if you've not long eaten a banana. Wearing Black seems to prompt the Bees danger alert and they are more likely to sting. Should you kill a Bee, the hormone released will incite the attack hormone- do not walk near the hive. Bees love SUNFLOWERS, I encourage to at least plant a few if possible.Bees need water, so during the drought conditions you may see Bees coming closure to the house in search of water. Generally Honey Bees will avoid stinging, and the Drones don't have a stinger.My apologies for the length of the post.

Jane Marie said...

Thank you so much. You've taught me a lot!