Apr 6, 2008

Bees: A Sure Sign of Spring

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There are many indicators of the changes in seasons used by people to gauge when spring arrives. Some folks rely upon the appearance of certain flowers, such as members of the crocus family, while others use the presence of tree buds to make the official announcement.

For me, the sighting of the year's first honeybee told me that winter has passed.

Temperatures were in the mid-50s today in Northwest Ohio, and this particular bee was far from at the height of its metabolism, but it methodically bounced from flower to flower, gathering nectar and distributing pollen to the plants it visited. After a moment the honeybee rose into the sky, and returned to its nest with the acquired plant products.

My dog by this time was getting impatient, as we were in the midst of a walk through the neighborhood. He did not share my interest in the natural world, except as it pertained to the presence of squirrels and cats.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice pic, Mike.

Anonymous said...

Congrats!

Looks like Fox News used your stuff!

Anonymous said...

err, Fox Toledo anyway!

Still, great work, dude!

Barb said...

What's the latest on the hive disorder? Are we going to have honeybees this year or not?

It's easier to ask you than find out myself!

historymike said...

(laughing at Barb's comment)

There are plenty of insects beyond commercial honeybee hives to do the important work of pollination. I suspect that the reason we are hearing so much about colony failure and honeybee die-off is that this is a problem associated in large measure with commercial beekeepers.

Feral honeybees do not demonstrate the same susceptibility to mites and diseases as do commercially bred honeybees.

Personally, I think humans should spend less time trying to eradicate nests from their vicinity (provided bees do not, say, build inside your house) and encourage the development of feral bees in their neighborhoods.