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Bug Girl writes:

I love books, and I love words, so I was excited to find an website that specializes in breaking down the origins of common catch phrases.  Today’s phrase: The Bee’s Knees.

According to that site (and a few other sources), references to “bee knees” occasionally occurred in the early 1900?s:  ’Bee’s knees’ began to be used in early 20th century America. Initially, it was just a nonsense expression that denoted something that didn’t have any meaningful existence…..That meaning is apparent in a spoof report in the New Zealand newspaper The West Coast Times in August 1906, which listed the cargo carried by the SS Zealandia as ‘a quantity of post holes, 3 bags of treacle and 7 cases of bees’ knees’…… Zane Grey’s 1909 story, The Shortstop, has a city slicker teasing a yokel by questioning him about make-believe farm products:

“How’s yer ham trees? Wal, dog-gone me! Why, over in Indianer our ham trees is sproutin’ powerful. An’ how about the bee’s knees? Got any bee’s knees this Spring?”

Pretty much everything I’ve read, though, agrees that the likely popularization of the phrase really occurred in the 1920?s, the period of the flappers.  ”Bee’s knees” is part of a fashion for nonsense rhyming slang from the Roaring 20sThe common feature of the slang expressions was mention of an animal part with some alliteration thrown in.  Some of my favorites:  ”elephant’s adenoids”, “caterpillar’s kimono”, “gnat’s elbows”, “kipper’s knickers”, and “eel’s ankle”.  You have probably heard another phrase that’s survived from that period:  ”The Cat’s Pajamas.”

All of these phrases generally translate to what, today, would be said as “Awesome!” (Although I suspect there is a newer word for that, but I’m just too old and un-hip to know about it.)

The phrase occurs in print in several places in the US in 1922; Newspapers published “Flapper Dictionaries” to explain the strange and baffling lingo of those damn kids.   There is a reference to the term in a Flapper Dictionary from Missouri in 1922; The Newark Advocate, (Ohio) in a 1922 piece printed:

“That’s what you wonder when you hear a flapper chatter in typical flapper language. ‘Apple Knocker,’ for instance. And ‘Bees Knees.’ That’s flapper talk. This lingo will be explained in the woman’s page under the head of Flapper Dictionary.”

Alas, while the concept of the phrase referring to the collection of pollen on actual bees’ knees is appealing, it appears not to be the case.

If you want to have a fun 20?s flashback, here’s some Harold Lloyd driving around NYC.

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Backwards Beekeepers: Hollywood Hills cut-out

Backwards Beekeepers: Hollywood Hills cut-out

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Solace by James Zanoni 

Shot on a Canon 7D. Red Rock Micro Custom Rig | Canon 50mm 1.4 | 17-40mm 4 | 100mm 2.8 macro 

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EXCITING NEWS:
Today we started setting up a “Bee Nirvana” next to this private bass pond!

The space was generously donated to us by Dr. Robert Cassar to create a
HoneyLove Sanctuary for the Rescued Honeybees of Los Angeles.

Thank you Jeremy for the introduction… and thank you Adam for your help!
….stay tuned for more details and photos!

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Thanks for the sweet blog and tweet TEETOO! We love your work too!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_MVqMfxtptMU/TKzlowxJg9I/AAAAAAAAAlU/vGFH6-Wrrpk/S1600-R/teetoo+banner-01+crop.png

Honeylove, written by our dear friends Rob and Chelsea McFarland is another other blog I’m loving these days. Are these two adorable or what? Not only are they incredibly good looking, they are both multi-talented and super sweet. Rob and Chelsea post interesting bee related facts, videos and cute pictures on Honeylove  almost daily…”  

- Click here to read the full post on Teetoo’s site

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HoneyLove.org

Please sign our petition online to legalize urban beekeeping in Los Angeles!
http://www.change.org/petitions/help-legalize-beekeeping-in-mar-vista

You do not need to live in Los Angeles to sign! Thanks!!!

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Thank you Bill Rosendahl for your support in legalizing urban beekeeping!

If you haven’t signed our online petition yet – please click the link below and help us save the honeybees! (You do not need to live in Los Angeles to sign!)

http://www.change.org/petitions/help-legalize-beekeeping-in-mar-vista

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WE COLLECTED OVER FIVE HUNDRED SIGNATURES IN ONE DAY AT THE MAR VISTA FARMERS MARKET!! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support – What a fun day!! <3

Click here to see some more photos!!

…and here is a link to sign the petition online!
http://www.change.org/petitions/help-legalize-beekeeping-in-mar-vista

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Help Legalize Beekeeping in Mar Vista! Please sign our petition on Change.org!

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gardendog:

“Mar Vista tripleheader”

Today, Roberta of Backwards Beekeepers and I cut-out three hives from my neighbor’s garage. John contacted BB after what sounds like a few bungled removals. What started as one hive in his wall splintered into three robust hives, taking up residence in various parts of the garage. 

John’s daughter Catherine, a biology student at UCSB, helped us throughout the whole ordeal. I suspect we have a newbie beek in the making. She was really impressive.

The first hive we tackled was in a window frame and was fully exposed after removing a sheet of plywood that was installed after the previous removal.

We were able to easily cut out the comb and tie it into frames. Look at all that brood!

Next up was a hive that set up in a wine box left behind to trap stragglers from the previous removal. The thought was that it was better to have them living in the box than in the wall.

Unfortunately, they quickly got over-crowded and sent out at least two more swarms, which set up shop in the window and wall. Makes me wonder if this is where the swarm that showed up in my yard originated. If so, I have John to thank for my good fortune. The good news was that the box made for a really simple cut-out.

 

We tied all the comb into 5 frames and dropped them into a nuc box I just built. We obviously got the queen because the rest of the crew was eager to get inside. 

And finally, after a ton of sawing and brute demo work, we were able to cut-out the swarm in the wall. They really spread out throughout the wall, so it took a ton of coaxing to get them all. And by coaxing, I mean busting the hell out of the wall and brushing and vacuuming like a mad man. And though I’m no fan of the bee vac, I’ve found it to be essential in some of the hairier cut-outs. Going to try to build one this weekend, stay tuned for how that turns out. 

Special thanks to John and Catherine for helping rescue many thousands of honeybees, and to Roberta for the mentoring. 

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