Saturday, July 21, 2007
When several thousand bees and a queen are placed in new surroundings-which happens when the swarm enters its new domicile or a package of bees is installed, or a colony is moved to a new location-normal flight of some workers from the entrance may occur within minutes. If flowering plants are available, bees may be returning to the hive with pollen within an hour. Bees transferred by air from Hawaii to Louisiana and released at 11:30 a.m. were returning to the new location with pollen loads within an hour. Package bee buyers in the Northern States have noticed similar patterns in bees shipped from the South.What causes this virtually instant foraging by bees? What determines whether they collect pollen, nectar, or water? If food and water in the hive are sufficient, why should they leave to forage?Answers to these questions may lead to our directing bees to specific duties we desire accomplished. The work shown here entitled "strays" examines a wandering self organizing system similar to what is being suggested with the bees. I have been thinking this week that wandering is part of life and an important part of finding what is vital to creating self-sustainablity in the hive.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
When investigating a potential site for a new hive, scout bees carefully check to ensure it meets certain specifications. For example: It must be large enough to hold a volume of not less than about six and a half gallons. It must have a small entrance that has a maximum diameter of about one and a half inches and that lies near the base to facilitate removal of waste. Finally, it should face south for warmth, and it should lie high off the ground to protect against predators. This week I have been revisiting the idea of a constructed identity using a comforter as an extension of self and home. In 2005, I spent one year hand sewing a comforter. An ironically appropriate activity for me as I would learn later, that the bees who are 12-20 days old called the middle-aged workers are responsible for constructing the comb. This piece entitled ‘she covers’ speaks of self-sustainability – the pursuit of constructing the hive within - it is an appropriate place to store the honey and find every necessity for comfort to sustain proper balance in life.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
There are many theories about the disappearance of the honeybee. This morning I came across one of my favorites to date posted on the Smithsonian magazine site in an interview with May Berenbaum by David Zax.Quoting Berenbaum:I like the theory that visitors from another planet have decided they were going to abduct the smartest organisms on the planet, and they've picked the honeybees.