Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Improving the Shining Hour


The bees were very busy in the marigolds today, making the most of the sunny weather and the flowers that remain after the frost.

It seems to me that bees have rather an enviable job. Imagine spending your work hours nose-diving into flowers; mining for sweetness and sipping nectar all day long.


I wonder if they ever get tired of it. (Scene: the hive at sunset. Worker bee comes home after a long day's pollinating. She plops down in the recliner and asks, "What's for dinner? Not honey again! Can't we just ONCE have something salty for supper?")


Dreadful thought: do bees have allergies? Perhaps the expression "bee's knees" is really a corruption of "bees sneeze". (Which is what I would do if I clambered through pollen day in and day out. Perhaps a bee's job is not so enviable after all.)


Still, there's much to be said for a bee's life. Plenty of fresh air, exercise, romantic involvement - what is pollination after all but romance by proxy? - and flowers. Lots of flowers.

And no tedious leg-shaving.

Happy October. :)

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35 comments:

  1. so sunny post! i love marigolds and yes, the life of bees is so interesting and much more busy than ours...isn't it?:)!

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    1. Yes, very busy indeed. Thanks, Hindustanka. :)

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  2. I was thinking about them coming home and having to store all their hard work so that their fat old queen could make lots of babies to eat it. Now this is totally out of my memory so what I say the bees do might be totally wrong! Loved the pictures though! Joan

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    1. It seems about right ... I kept popping over to Wikipedia while writing this to make sure I didn't perpetuate any apian howlers. :)

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  3. I love your bees on the marigolds shots, especially the first one where Mr. Bee seems to have fallen asleep on the job! I also love the last photo with folded wings and a single antenna poking out! Busy bees indeed!
    I wonder if the expression: "the bee's knees" has anything to do with the pollen baskets which are located in the mid segments ('knees')of its legs?!
    I also love the expression "the cat's whiskers!" The expressions are probably similar in meaning and are used to say that something is excellent or the best! I love expressions and idioms, don't you?!

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    1. "Bee's knees" definitely sounds more appealing than "pollen baskets". Another favourite expression is "cat's pajamas".

      Thanks, Sandra. :)

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  4. Wonderful close-ups Sue...and entertaining commentary as always. :-)

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  5. In England, I noticed that the bees had the pollen around their legs, so to speak, could this be where the expression "bee's knees" came from? I will have to look at my bee photos from England!

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    1. I shall have to consult the Oracle (which is what we call the OED in our house) on that expression. Now I'm wondering too! :)

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  6. Oh such beautiful sunny photos. It's still raining here and I need all the sunnnnnnny photos I can get. :-))))

    And so much Wisdom, contained in this post! Do bees sneeze? Though their life looks wonderful, it would never do, for you and I. And they don't have to shave their legs.<----WHAT Wisdom!!!!! :-)

    "Auntie"

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    1. Thank you for these few kind words, Auntie. :)

      P.S. We could use some of that rain. Feel free to send it our way!

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  7. And think of the beautiful colors they are surrounded by, do bee's see in color? And they do have to work non stop, I mean do they get a day off, does the Queen really appreciate them. Do bee's have a union?

    These are all things to contemplate.

    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Associated Apians Local #161. Honey-Gatherers United. Pollensters.

      I think you may have started something here! :)

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  8. We don't have as many honey bees as I'd like, but we do have loads of bumble bees. Lately we've found a few of them laying dead, worked themselves to death no doubt.

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    1. I think this is the time of year they start to drop off. They'll have to talk to their union rep about better hours. :)

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  9. The bees have a very hard life. It is as hard that they die after three short weeks. They work so hard for the honey but all they get is white sugar.

    I love honey. And I appreciate what those tiny workers do for me! :-) I'd love to be a bee keeper if only the bees wouldn't stinge.

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    1. I love honey too ... especially local honey. And I do appreciate the hard work it takes to make it. :)

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  10. What if bees are allergic to humans? Or dogs?
    I personally got stung a couple of weeks ago and boy did that hurt. Then it got swollen thenit itched. I have been thinkin about bees too. Just not in a nice way. LOL
    Great post.

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    1. Baking soda paste, then vinegar, have worked for me in the past. I've only been stung twice in my life that I can remember.

      Stay safe, Beth! :)

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  11. If I had legs as gloriously fuzzy as theirs I wouldn't bother shaving them. I'd show them off!
    *sigh* I've been trying to photograph bees all summer but the ones in my garden seem quite camera-shy. Yours are fabulous! That first picture especially. It's just begging for a caption isn't it? It puts me in mind of this news story that entertained Scotland for a couple of days: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-19790191

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    1. Her mates will have to start calling her "flower heid". (Great story!)

      When I first approached with my camera, the bees all flew away. But I crouched down and waited, and in a minute or so they came back. They were soon so busy with the flowers that I was able to put the camera practically on top of them - even so I had to crop the pics to get those extreme closeups. Thank goodness for photo-editing programs! And bitty cameras with good resolution. :)

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  12. I rather think of bees as permanently tipsy!

    That first image is a stunner Sue :D

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  13. Your photos are absolutely GORGEOUS. I love that you can see the detail on the wings! I love bees, have a tattoo of one on my wrist.

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  14. Those are great photos. I must admit, I'd never really given a second thought to what a bee might think, but I often wonder what some wild animals, such as bighorn, porcupine and mountain goats, might be thinking as I aim that big black thing at them...

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    1. Some of the birds around here don't mind a bit if I look at them, but as soon as I raise the camera, or even click it on in my hand, they fly off. I always wonder if they think it's a gun....

      Thanks, Deb. :)

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  15. Sue, your photos are wonderful.....I have been trying to get some good pics of the bees in the Crabapples. They move so fast!!

    I love hearing bees buzzing about and knowing they are doing such an important job and providing beautiful honey........they deserve a day off every now and then....

    CLaire x

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    1. Bumblebees are always easier to shoot, I think. They move rather more slowly than honeybees, and seem to spend more time crawling around on top of the flowers.

      :)

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  16. This reminds me, I have bees--or maybe only one bee--on my marigolds that I swear is too drunk to move. I can nudge him with my finger and he just flits his wings a little. I thought at first he was dying, but he moves from one flower to another, so it can't be that.

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    1. Has it been that way all year? The bumblebees here are really slowing down - I think because of the cold weather.

      Or perhaps they really are a bit tipsy....

      :)

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  17. Gorgeous photos, Sue, and I just love this post. I haven't seen many bees here lately and I miss them.

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    1. Thanks e! I didn't see many this year until just recently. (Perhaps that's why my tomatoes took so long to fruit?)

      :)

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  18. I Google searched "Do bees have allergies" and this was the top of four results. I just wanted you to know that question is apparently something that isn't really thought about a lot.

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