beautiful bees

honeybees

A friend sent me the link to a website full of beautiful bee photos, so I have to share!

The Bee Photographer

Such crisp, clear, close and personal shots of honeybees. I love how it brings their beauty to light. Pollinators are such an important part of agriculture. So many of our foods today would not be here if they were not pollinated by insects. Or, if they did exist, would be pretty expensive due to the manual labour that would be involved in making sure pollen made its way from the male bits to the female bits.

Honeybees are not the only pollinators; there are many other types of bees, wasps, butterflies, and miscellaneous insects that do a pretty good job of making sure we have fruits and vegetables to eat. This year I’m hoping to build myself a solitary bee house. Solitary bees are very well-behaved. They tend not to sting unless you’re actually squishing them or otherwise pissing them off. They have no honey or colony to defend. They just gather nectar and pollen to stockpile with each of the eggs they lay, so the larvae that hatch from the eggs have some food to eat.

If you drill a piece of wood with holes about 4″-5″ deep, with a 1/4″ drill bit, you can attract ¬†solitary bees. They are reportedly great fun to watch. You can get leafcutter bees, which line the holes with perfect circles of leaves from rose bushes or other plants, and seal in the eggs with the same. Mason bees make a sort of mortar with mud to seal in their eggs.

There are other types too, which I’m hoping to learn more about. And I’m hoping to get a chance to watch them and identify a few different varieties. You can do this too in your yard or on your balcony! You’ll be making your piece of Earth more pollinator-friendly, without all the hoopla of honeybee husbandry.

But if you want to read more about the hoopla, you can check out my old honeybee blog, which I haven’t updated in quite awhile. It tells the story of my beekeeping beginnings, all the ups and downs and silly mistakes along the way.

The Healthy Honeybee

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