To many, the iconic sound of a contented summer day is the soft hum of a honeybee as it drones in and out of blossoms. Most of us think of the product of that sleepy buzz as sweet golden honey. And of course, honey is what the bee has on its mind as it busily goes from flower to flower. It lands to drink nectar from the bloom’s centre, and to fill its small baskets (attached to its second and third sets of legs) with the blossom’s pollen.
Only after all four baskets are filled with pollen and its stomach with nectar will it fly back to the hive to deliver its share of honey’s vital ingredients to its sisters. But while it is working to fill those baskets, each time it rests on a flower it brushes the blossoms’ stamens , coating it with the pollen it is collecting.
It then carries the pollen out of one bloom and into another, thereby performing an essential function.
Pollen is half of what fertilizes every seed. without pollen a flower is infertile, it cannot mature, it will not be productive, I.E. it will not bring a fruit or vegetable to life, it will not make more seeds to plant next year.
The bee industriously transferring pollen from one plants’ blossoms’ to another is a necessary step in the fertilizing process. We depend on pollinators! Without sparing the correctly dubbed BUSY bee a thought we have It and all Its sisters to thank for a minimum of one third of the food we eat. That is right, one out of every three bites of food you eat is on your plate thanks to the honeybees and their unending labours which pollinate our crops.
They alone are responsible for pollinating more than eighty percent of flowering fruits and vegetables. So now imagine a world without one third of our food in it. (Not to mention a world without wondrous honey!) Because every year we are coming closer to such a world. For decades now the honeybee population has declined annually. It is being attacked on many fronts.
Products including pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoid family are being sprayed on our crops supposedly to keep them healthy. In reality these products are helping to murder the very creatures we depend on to make our crops mature and bear fruit. In addition our expanding cities have taken away habitat further complicating the honeybees struggle to survive. The honeybee is in serious trouble and needs our help! There are many things you can do. You can take care when choosing products to use on your own plants. If possible avoid chemical pesticides. (In her recent garden post Isabelle shared a couple of easy ways to help keep plants healthy without using any harmful chemicals!) Please insure the seeds you plant (that goes for your little flowerbox or patio planter as well as for the big cash crop farmers) have not been treated with a bee killing pesticide. And you can help organizations like Save Our Bees do just that, Save Our Bees! And please tell more people about these small simple steps that they to can take, … Every Bit helps! Remember this isn’t only seeing the price of honey sore as the supply becomes limited, this is watching our food supply dwindle and seeing the price of all food stuffs climb.
Ontario beekeeper Mr. Jim Coneybeare and Global Television worked together to film two excellent documentaries. In these clips Mr. Coneybeare both addresses the larger issues facing the honeybees while sharing his own observations and experiences in attempting to keep his bees alive and healthy! (Mr. Coneybeare is a member of the Canadian Honey Council. He kindly shared these videos with us when we contacted him. Thank you Mr. Coneybeare!) Please click here, and here to view these documentaries.
Flight of the Bees
Season of Change
And if you would like to learn more about how You can help then Please visit:
Everyday We count on our honeybees, and now they need US!
Les Belles Bouclettes tribute to the honeybee!
Please checkout our Bees Knees Soap, made with honey and beeswax!
(Fun note: Ever wondered about the expression “the bees knees”? Read about its origins at: www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-bees-knees.html)
Thank You To All Those Working To Help Our Bees!
For people living in the U.S. one organization you have doing fabulous work in the state of Oregon is:
We would like to collect links to and information about organizations similar to Save Our Bees in other countries. If you are aware of one please post contact information about it in the comments field! If possible we would love to compile a reference list.
And if you have any tips or suggestions on ways you know to help our winged pollinating friends please share them!
The organization Save Our Bees, is the first in Les Belles Bouclettes new feature:
Charity Of The Month!
Every month we will be writing about a charitable or non-profit organization and the cause it supports. We will not request or collect donations on their behalf. We do look forward to sharing our knowledge about and interest in these causes and organizations with you and hope you will wish to learn more about them after reading our posts. To find out more please click on one of the links provided.
Today is Canada Day!!!
Happy Birthday to our Great and Glorious Land!
We wish all our Canadian readers a Very Happy Canada Day!!!
We are so lucky and have so much to celebrate living in this beautiful country!
From Goats To Soaps will be enjoying a belated holiday, our next post will be in a week’s time.
So we’ll also take this opportunity to wish all our American readers an early Happy Fourth of July! Have a fabulous holiday weekend!