Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Christmas Honey Bees

Ever wonder what bees do during winter?

The survival of the bee through the cold months of winter is largely dependent upon the particular kind of over 1,000 species to which it belongs. Generally speaking, the social bees do not summer in the South during the winter, as do migratory birds, but, instead, live or die in their natural environs.

The young queen bumblebee, who earns her title by being the one egg-laying female, or queen mother, in the colony of social bees, does survive the winter. She does so by burrowing out a hold in a well-drained sandbank, or simply by taking the easy way out by moving into a pre-owned home, such as a deserted mouse nest. Once settled into her nest, she plays happy homemaker and makes beebread from the nectar and the pollen she collected all summer, dumps the load of bread, lays eggs on it, covers it with wax, and relaxes atop it.

Approximately 250,000 eggs later, her Highness washes her hands of the whole thing, and leaves the work to her offspring. As soon as the workers, or fertilized, but non-egg producing females sprout wings, they set to work, and only later get assistance in the form of drones, or unfertilized males. The workers bees and drones, who toiled for the queen all summer, are rewarded for their efforts by a certain death in winter. No bother...they are easily replaced by cheap labor, when the queen lays more eggs in the spring, and puts her new brood to work.

Her counterpart, the young queen honeybee, earns her title by being the first of the special queen cells to emerge, and literally kills her competition, her sisters, in their queen cells, before they have the chance to emerge. The colony she rules is the epitome of efficiency, as it adapts to endure a full range of adverse climates. This species of honey-producing bee, ergo the honeybee, winters in a temperature-controlled hive. The worker bee thermostatically controls his hive with great precision, ensuring that the temperature in the hive's nursery, where baby bees are developing, is maintained at 93 degrees Fahrenheit, and that the temperature in the remainder of the hive does not drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The worker bees accomplish this winter task by fueling up on the honey that they have stored, and by releasing heat as they feast.

The honeybee wisely keeps a stash of honey for himself, after the beekeeper has had his take, thus benefiting from his labor in the warmer months. The social bees utilize these months in a productive manner, by buzzing from flower to flower, sucking up the flowers' nectar as they bumble along. The nectar the bees extract from the flower flows to their honey sacs, which are enlargements of their digestive tracts, and are located in front of the belly of the bees.

Here, the sugars from the sweet nectar of the flower, chemically transform, and are reduced through the honeybee's built-in mechanism to evaporate large quantities of water contained in the nectar. The honeybee stores the end product, honey, both internally, and externally. Pooh-like "honeypot" cells store the thinner version of honey, honey with a short "shelf-life," and honeycombs, the more concentrated version, honey with the "shelf-life" of canned goods in wartime. In a sense, the honeybee is preparing to combat, and to survive, the bitter winter months that lie ahead.

(from Cool Quiz)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, August 31, 2009

September Team Challenge

I would like to submit a September Team Challenge on our Blog!

I ask the team members to take a tour of some of the other team members shops and find inspiration for an entry of your own. Then post the original inspiration and your new creation here on the blog . It's a great way to see the talents of our other team members and to get a creative boost of your own.

This challenge will not be subject to a vote. Enter as many as you want. But we will have a team art show blog after the dealine to see each others work and to make comments.

The challenge will close September 30. I hope you all participate and we get to know each other better! Looking forward to inspiration!

Love, Honeybeads

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sorry to report, CCD has come to our team!

Due to non-popular demand, our team challenge was cancelled and no further date has been established.

It is common practice (or non practice, in this case) to check in on the Ning website in order to coordinate and keep informed with the team's happenings, only since most members don't check in on Ning, it's impossible to run a team!

If you have any suggestions or input concerning how to revive the Etsy Honey Bee Helpers team, then please post your suggestions and comments here. Unfortunately, as with many things in life, the good intentions are there, but without action, nothing can happen.

Over and out!

Wishing you well and happy trails...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Update: Early Summer Team Challenge delayed!

Come to your hive, gather around and hear the buzz!

Attention, fellow Honey Bee Helpers! The deadline to enter our contest has been POSTPONED for a month.

The NEW deadline to enter our Early Summer Team Challenge is now:

Thursday, July 23, 2009.

Maybe that will give everyone some extra time to complete your challenge item so that we will have more contestants for more fun ... and more excitement!

Keep those creative juices flowing and think: beach - flowers - summer fruits (thanks to our busy honey bee we have plenty to chose from) palm trees - ice cream - outdoor grilling - whatever reminds you of summer. The possibilities are endless!

I wait all year for these sweet jewels of summer: thank you, little honey bee!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Green Tip: Plant yourself some herbs!

Plant some herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes!
You can start from seeds, or buy baby plants and bring them home.

You can put them in your garden outside (make sure they aren't in a spot where wild animals will decide to mark them, though! Eewwwww!), or plant them in pots and place them in a bright and sunny window!

You'll save money from buying herbs at the grocery store, and save on packaging, too!
Plus, fresh herbs taste better than dried ones AND they're better for you- all the nutrients are still in tact!

Keep your herb garden organic. If you find that some of your yummies are being destroyed by bugs (caterpillars love parsley!), perhaps you could plant extra for them, since pollinators need all the help they can get! Or, clean them off and move your herbs indoors away from those who partake in them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Treasury! May 23 :)

Sweet Sea Honeybees- treasury featuring greens and blues from our wonderful team!

Visit! Click! Give our team some love that it deserves :)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Treasury West- May 20!

Hello Bees, we have a new Treasury!

Thanks to Doris for creating this one!

See it here- click, comment, click some more and give it some love ;)