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Blogger, photographer, and antspert Alex Wild says it is permissible to post photos of my cat on my bee blog only if I dress him up like a stinging insect. My cat is way too dignified to be dressed as anything but himself, but he performs royally as the queen’s bodyguard. The role fits him […] Read more
I have one little patch of goldenrod in front of my house, right next to the driveway. I protect it from pickup trucks and lawn mowers all summer long just so I can watch the bumble bees flock to it in late summer. This year is no exception. The bumble bees are crazy for a […] Read more
Honey bees have two sets of mouth parts. The mandibles or “jaws” are used for chewing. The proboscis is a straw-like tongue used for sucking liquids and also for tasting. Although it may look smooth and uniform, the proboscis is actually quite complex, composed of several different parts. You can think of it as a […] Read more
An article about a new apiary at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is popping up everywhere, so I finally decided to read it. It contains a cool concept—the placement of bees on otherwise unused land, tended by a force of especially selected ex-cons. The twenty-three hives on 2,400 square feet of airport “wasteland” have been in […] Read more
Once again I’ve been asked why this phrase bothers me so much. So here goes. From what I’ve heard, the “let the bees be bees” camp are “beekeepers” here and abroad who advocate laissez-faire beekeeping. They capture colonies, hive them, interfere with swarms, but otherwise ignore the bees’ needs. They dismiss pathogens, parasites, and predators […] Read more
On Thursday past I reduced all of my hive entrances. Here at my place it’s the year of the bald-faced hornet and they are everywhere. The garden, the chicken yard, and the planter boxes each have their own cloud of these vulturous creatures. And so do the hives. The hornets dive, swoop, dip, snare and […] Read more