A paean to the honeybee

Bee-yootiful: Guest-blogging chronobiologist Leon Kreitzman has a mesmerizing essay about why "honeybees really are nature’s little treasures." The have a built-in clock that allows them to know when flowers are producing nectar each day, they can work out the location of a food source from its position in relation to the sun — even on cloudy days — and can tell their sisters how far away the food is up to a distance of about 15 kilometers, even correcting for the shift in the sun. Love that he closes with: "The least we can do is take proper care of these wondrous creatures. Instead we are killing them off in their billions through our befouling of their environment." (Olivia Judson Blog - NYTimes.com)

One Responseto “A paean to the honeybee”

  1. bbum says:

    The funny part, though, is that honeybees are not a native species to the Americas. They were imported to the Americas starting in about 1600.  And since they don't cross mountains, they weren't brought to California until the 1800s.

    To preserve the honeybee in North America is to preserve an invasive species.  It pains me to say that, given my deep love of honey!

    There are very effective native pollinators throughout the Americas, many of which have been pushed out by the honeybee.

    These native pollinators are often more efficient than honeybees, are generally considerably less territorial and/or aggressive, many don't even have stingers, and some are early pollinators while others are late pollinators, thus often providing better full-season coverage than honeybees.

    For this season, I built a Mason Bee house for my community garden plot.  Only been up a week, finger's still crossed!

    http://www.friday.com/bbum/2009/04/21/mason-bees-north-american-native-pollinators/