I guess you already know, as the National Wildlife Federation points out, that the honeybee, originally from Europe,  has 3 parts:  a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. They also have hair on their bodies (more noticeable on the furry black and yellow bumblebee). And only the female bees have stingers.

   Honeybees are actually considered domesticated, not wild, as they have been “kept” mostly by humans, while there are over 4,000 (!)  wild native bees in America. Our native bees don’t have the bee hive “boxes” we humans set up so that we can get honey from  honeybees for our own use. The natives, 70 percent, lay eggs in tunnels like hollowed out plant stems. So it is IMPORTANT that we humans actually leave some leaf litter from trees and some logs and dead trees laying around, along with dead wildflower stems.

    The native bees can be green and like to “drink” our sweat for its salt and minerals, believe it or not. The bumblebee will pollinate a flower by grabbing it and shaking it, vibrating its muscles to get pollen off of the flower. This “buzz pollination” helps to pollinate harder to get to plants like eggplant and tomatoes. Blueberries  actually have a blueberry  bee that uses buzz pollination  on it.

    Most native bees spend the winter hibernating in nests created by their mother; so that leaf litter by your oak tree should be left alone if you want to help our native bees. Butterflies and moth species might also be in that leaf litter.

    Mason bees also like to stay in a woody, hollow plant stem for the winter — but don’t cap the entrance. And leave that log on the ground so native bees have somewhere to stay in the cold, cold winter months.

    It is noteworthy that the honeybee may be the only bee to die if it stings. Bumblebees, for example, have stingers that are smooth. Honeybees have “barbed” stingers so that when they do sting, the stinger pulls out of their body and they soon die. A carpenter bee can sting you multiple times if it feels like it, though it is usually calm and docile.

   Healthwise, honey from the honeybee is healthier than table sugar (sucrose). It has in it enzymes (according to Healthline.com), B vitamins, Vitamin  C, even antioxidants; table sugar does not. Although sugar may be a little lower in calories, both can spike glucose levels in your blood, which may be of concern if you are diabetic or even watching your weight.

    We should celebrate our bees for what they do for our plants (I’m talking about pollination, of course, which will then produce fruits and vegetables we eat).

    The National Wildlife Federation has more tips for a “bee friendly” yard and attitude: 10 Ways to Save Pollinators • The National Wildlife Federation Blog (nwf.org)  https://blog.nwf.org/2021/06/10-ways-to-save-pollinators/

    If you found this entertaining or helpful, please buy D J Mathews a cup of coffee by going to this address: https://ko-fi.com/dj50772

Subscribe To My Newsletter!

Sign up for D. J.'s newsletter with helpful tips, blog info, and/or freebies.


You have Successfully Subscribed!