Bees are fascinating creatures and are all about us.
They aren't given anywhere near the credit nor reverence they deserve for both their pollinating importance and their community spirit.
There are over 20,000 species of bees ranging in size from 2mm up to 39mm and can beat their wings at over 11,000 times a minute.
Bees can be solitary or live in communities that are highly organized and structured. Included in these are the most well known of the bees, the Honey bee of which there are 8 recognized species, They are incredibly important for human food pollination and it is estimated that one bite of food in 3 depends on bees for pollination.
Beekeeping has been known as far back as ancient Egypt and Greece and appear in mythology, art and literature from ancient times. Fossils of Honey bees are known to be 40 million years old.
Their lives are a fantastic example to humanity of how to live cooperatively and with perseverance.
We could do well to follow in the bees localized community-focused footsteps and get to know our own communities. Gettting involved with community based garden projects and caring for one another are positive and benficial to all who live there.
Bees are sadly believed to be in decline along with many other insect species but there are ways we can help encourage them.
Planting bee friendly flowers and plants and even leaving out nectar water is a great way to attract them.
Nectar water is one part sugar to one part water by weight or volume and in winter two parts sugar to one part water to make a syrup for them.
Also pesticides kill off many insects including bees, so look at other ways of gardening that don't include pesticides.
I shall include some links below on a pesticide-free garden and interesting bee links.
We need bees more than many people think or are aware of. They are an integral part of the ecology of the earth and indeed our own food production. They are also valuable in their own right as members of the living earth.
Next time you see a bee take a moment to think about what they do and the positive effect they have on other species of flora and fauna on the planet and the way they carry out their tasks efficently and cooperatively.
We could learn much from bees.
Pesticide free gardening
How to attract bees in the garden
- Brendon Crook