Monday, May 28, 2007

Bees are not fast fliers; while their wings beat over 11,000 cycles per minute, their flight speed averages only 15 miles per hour. I was thinking about patience today-

Sunday, May 27, 2007

worker bees are all female

You may be wondering what all this bee business is about? This summer my son is getting married and my bees have been invited to become a part of this celebration- 166 of them will soon be distrubuted to the invited guests. But my Bees are also an interactive part of a new project that I am working on - check out the bee line map link.....
FACT: Worker bees are all female and make up about 85 percent of nest bees. They have three life stages, during which they have specific roles to fill. Young workers (1 to 12 days old) clean cells, nurse the brood, and tend the queen. Middle-aged workers (12 to 20 days old) build the comb, store nectar and pollen brought by forager bees, and ventilate the nest (see temperature). Older workers (20 days to 30 days or more, the rough life expectancy of a honeybee), are primarily foragers who supply nectar and provide the enzymes needed for converting it to honey. Flying at a speed of about 15 miles per hour, each can travel more than three and a half miles from home on a single flight. Bee researcher Thomas Seeley has likened this capability to a five-foot-tall person "flying" 375 miles, the distance from Boston to Washington, or from Berlin to Z├╝rich. Pretty amazing don't you think?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fact:

To make one pound of honey, workers in a hive fly 55,000 miles and tap two million flowers.

Friday, May 25, 2007

beginnings




As a child, I spent a good part of my summers with my grandparents in Duluth, Minnesota. The original ceramic bee was a fixture on a bright- yellow-Formica-topped table in their kitchen with a million-dollar view overlooking Lake Superior. I remember it was always filled with jam that my Grandma Frances made from the raspberries harvested from a patch in her back yard. The bee project evolved out of the childhood memories I have of this time. My relationship with Frances was complex- layered with unspoken dialogues and body language-regardless of my assignment whether it was picking berries or crawling inside and scrubbing out the lower kitchen cupboard- I understood. I knew what was expected and I never questioned why. I think of this experience as similar to living in a hive where female bees work and converse knowing and understanding with an unspoken language found in the silent space that connects them. I think the most direct talks I had with Frances where probably during this time.