Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Bee a Wisdom Keeper
 
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Kathryn, 7-years-old, is as cute as a bug and dressed as a bee.  She is buzzed about a honey of a story on bees and the environment.

 TALES
 
Bees! Ouch!  What a topic for a pet column!  A magnifying glass reveals that honey bees are fuzzy, but alas they don't "hive" many warm fuzzy stories.  Beekeeper Rachel agrees, "Bees are not pets! You don't want to hug your hive!"

For most, bees are a fascinating hobby, an agricultural aspect of life, or something to avoid!  Bees are also inspirational!  Considering their body shape and wing size, "Aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but..it goes on flying anyway," said beauty consultant Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Settlers brought European honeybees to North America in 1622, to provide their colonies with wine, honey, and candles. (What an interesting boat ride for the settlers!)

The buzz about bees is that they are better than human teens at keeping their families' hive clean!  Bees keep the temperature of their hive's 94'F all year long! They huddle, beat their wings, and take turns inside and outside the hive in moderating it's temperature.  They are devoted to their queen, like any household should bee, and cluster around her, cooling her in the summer and warming her in the winter.  There is no king bee!

Annually, 75-100 people attend Lane County Beekeepers Association's school. They hold a monthly meeting. You don't hive to bee a member to attend but "bee on time!"  www.lcbaor.org

Beekeeping is more a hobby than a beesness. This means that more money and time are spent doing it than making money! The honey can be sold or gifted to friends. Bee hive products are used in personal care products, cleaning products, to make beeswax soaps and candles.

Beekeepers often 'out hive' or rent out their hives to help pollinate friends' trees/berries, thereby increasing crop production.

Understandably, there are more shocking moments than funny ones involving bees. "The only funny stories I have," laughs beekeeper Paul, "are the ones told by my family who watch me dance around when I get stung!"

If you work with bees, you get stung!  Beekeepers learn to beecome careful and attending bee school helps them to hone their skills! Their protection suits run between $40-100 for a veil and a hat and/or a complete zip-on bee suit.

Everyone should have a "bee in their bonnet" and get buzzed about bees value in our environment.

Make bees your new BeeFF (Best Friends Forever). They are vital to our existence bee-cause they pollinate 2/3's of our food crops. The stinger is that without bees, human survival is in jeopardy of extinction! If you think food is expensive now, just think what it would cost without the benefit of bees! Bees need multiple sources of pollen for their protein and minerals. Planting bee-friendly flowers, shrubs, and trees helps to supply them with varied food sources.

We admire the beauty of flowering trees, shrubs and flowers, but bees see them as colorful, delicious smorgasbords!  Fragrant blooms attract bees to your yard and as the drones collect the nectar they pollinate your future food.

Bees love asters, alyssum, bee balm, berry plants, butterfly bush, catnip, clover, cosmos, crocuses, fruit trees, hibiscus, kale, lambs ear, lavender, marigolds, mints, pussy willows, rock roses, rosemary, rose of sharon, sage, thyme, vine maples, and zinnias.

Currently, there is a frightening global and local decrease in Honey Bee population. Entire colonies are dying without a logical explanation. The Colony Collapse Disorder also includes keepers discovering completely empty hives! Is this a result of the insect's radar becoming confused by cell towers and cell phones?  I would give up my cell phone if it meant saving bees.  I mean who wants to hand-pollinate their bloom'n yard!?

Could it bee related to pesticides? Pesticide: pest=insect and cide=to kill. Bee organic! Using pesticides in your garden is NOT beenificial to bees.

Is it true bees are attracted to people who consume sugar and sodas? Could these people smell sweet to a bee? Answer: Could bee! Probablee!

Enough droning on about bees. You might be "busy as a bee" but still curious about the answer to the age old question, "Where do bees go for their winter holidays?" Stingpore of course! And lastly remember the sage wisdom, "Gossip stings longer than a bee sting!"


TIPS

If you find a bee swarm, phone for a beekeeper to collect the swarm, a bee club, City Hall, or Glory Bee Foods  (1-800-456-7923).

Allergic to bee stings? Doctors prescribe EpiPens to stop allergic reactions as you proceed to a hospital.

Outside is the bee's world. When a bee flies close, leave it alone, take a deep breath, and watch.  It's going about its buzzness. If you are in its fly zone, step back. A bee in your vehicle?  Stop the vehicle, open windows and doors, and let it fly out.

Granny's Old Fashioned Sting Remedies:

1. Crest Advanced Cleaning baking soda toothpaste. It's easy to carry, the glycerin dries out the venom, and the alkaline toothpaste also neutralizes the bee's venom.

2. Combine baking soda, meat tenderizer, and vinegar into a paste.  The vinegar and baking soda creates a fun fizz. The meat tenderizer's papain breaks down bee venom.

3. Ice reduces swelling, constricts blood vessels which slows the flow of venom into  bloodstream, while also numbing to relieve pain and itching.
 
4. The homeopathic remedy Apis.
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