I went without a suit to meet some bee ladies last week for the first time, and wow am I mesmerized.
I never realized how much of a learning experience it would to bee-friend our little pollinator friends until the past year or so – don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved bees. I just wasn’t aware of the intricate workings of the hive.
The fact that women rule the nuc is probably my favorite part of what I’ve learned. According to Mr. Hardy (See page 3A), the bees that do all the work are the females. The only purpose of a “drone” bee is to mate with the queen before it dies or is kicked out of the hive before fall.
Apparently the females don’t want to take the ‘dead weight’ into the cold season, as it will take up precious resources they need to survive the winter.
A queen bee is claimed to fly the distance of one and a half trips around the GLOBE in her lifetime – that’s hard to fathom. Another fun fact I learned from the Missouri Department of Conservation is that most native bees don’t have stingers long enough to penetrate human skin.
So there’s no reason to be afraid!
It’s important to maintain native wildlife habitats in our community and on private land. One of the things people love to do this time of year is mow their yards… more power to you! I’ll send my fiancé.
However, before you drop the deck this spring, remember to keep an eye out for our fuzzy little flying friends. They are the single most important pollinators on earth, and play such a crucial role in the production of our fruits and vegetables.
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