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CHINA- HAND POLLINATION

“Workers in the Maoxian county of Sichuan, China, an area that has lost its pollinators through the indiscriminate use of pesticides and the over-harvesting of its honey, pollinates pear and apple trees by hand. In this part of China, the honeybee has been replaced by the human bee, for the past two decades. Every spring, thousands of villagers climb through fruit trees hand-pollinating blossoms by dipping “pollination sticks” (brushes made of chicken feathers and cigarette filters) into plastic bottles of pollen and then touching them against each of the tree’s billions of blossoms.”

[click here to view on apinews.com]

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HoneyLove was interviewed today by Jenna for Annenberg Television News

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According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. It’s wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.”

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Have you signed our petition yet?
HELP US TO LEGALIZE URBAN BEEKEEPING IN LOS ANGELES!!
http://www.change.org/petitions/help-legalize-beekeeping-in-mar-vista

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Early beekeepers assumed that queen bees were male, and called them kings, until it was discovered that the “king” was the one laying all the eggs.

Below is an excerpt from: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ENTOMOLOGY“ by John L. Capinera 

“It was not until 1609 that Charles Butler (an English beekeeper) in his famous book titled ‘The Feminine Monarchie,’ challenged the idea of king bees. Thereafter, in 1670, a Dutch scientist (Jan Swammerdam) proved this hypothesis through dissection, accompanied by his full anatomical drawings of queen, drone and worker…

The year 1609 A.D. (i.e., the date of publication of ‘The Feminine Monarchie’) is considered by some to mark the beginning of our knowledge about the sexuality of the ruler of the hive (the Queen). However, the first person to understand the sex of the queen probably was Luis Mendez de Torres in Spain who published a book in 1586 titled ‘Tractado breve de la cultivation y cur de las colmenas.’ In this book, he stated clearly that the leader bee in the hive laid the eggs, from which all workers, drones and future queens developed.

http://www.theoria.ca/theoria/files/Rusden-FullDiscoveryOfBees1685-2.jpg

In addition to de Torres, the knowledge of several Persian scientists about the queen bee may be traced back to a much earlier period. Ikhawan-ul-Safa (or The Brethren of Purity), who flourished in A.D. 950-1000 at Basra, composed a series of tracts in Arabic language known as the ‘Epistles of the Brethren of Purity,’ (also reported as ‘Epistles of the Brethren of Sincerity’) in the latter half of the tenth century (A.D. 950-1000). The authors of these series were six encyclopaedists, with at least three of them from Persia. Among their work, the ‘Dispute Between Man and the Animals’ is of zoological interest.

The following citation from their work refers to the sexuality of the ruler of the hive:

‘There, the king of the hasharat [insects], Ja’ sub [i.e., the bee queen], rules over the wasps, the flies, the bugs, the mosquitoes, the dung beetles, the spanish flies, the butterflies and moths and over the locusts, i.e., over all small animals which fly by wings, have no feathers, no bones, no soft hair and no fur.’ 

The above statement, which uses the Arabic word of Ja’sub [the bee queen], clearly refers to the sexuality of the hive ruler. It is also the first attempt to define an insect.

After about three centuries, al-Qazwini (the author of ‘Aja ib al-Makhluqat,’ composed in A.D. 1263) clearly speaks of the role of the king of honey bees (the queen) in the production of a new king. Despite the report, the sexuality of the queen as well as the definition of the insect were overlooked by other scholars for a long time.

While the sexuality of the ‘King’ remained unnamed until publication of ‘The Feminine Monarchie’ by Charles Butler in 1609 A.D. (or the publication of the book of Luis Mendex de Torres in 1586 A.D.), the definition of the insect was ignored until the seventeenth century. Although the word ‘King’ used in the former sentences may indicate the ignorance of al-Qazwini about the sexuality of the ‘Queen,’ the second phrase (i.e., “since it is the king who produces again a new king”), leaves no doubt on the awareness of this author about the sex of the ‘Queen.’”

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Beekeeping takes flight in primary school

Learning to look after bees has transformed the behavior of unruly pupils, says headteacher

When a swarm of bees descended on Charlton Manor primary school in Greenwich the teachers’ first reaction was concern. Some were afraid they would have to close the school. But what struck headteacher Tim Baker was how calm the pupils were – and how fascinated.

A bee catcher was called in to collect the uninvited swarm. But Baker was sufficiently intrigued by the children’s reaction to arrange for himself and two members of his staff to go on a beekeeping course. A year later, the school got its own hive.

Beekeeping has now been thoroughly integrated into Charlton Manor’s curriculum. In PE, the children study the waggle dance that scout bees do to tell the other bees where nectar is to be found. In cooking lessons, they use honey in their recipes, and in geography, they learn how different parts of the world make use of bees.

Business advisors have helped the children open a shop selling honey in the school playground. The pupils weigh the honey and work out pricing, write ads for the shop and design branding for the jars.

An unexpected benefit has been the effect the bees have had on behavior. Baker says they have had a “massive impact” on challenging pupils:

“One of the big things for me is getting children to think of others, and to be aware of their responsibility to others. With some children, you can’t get them to understand that in relation to other children, but you can show them using bees, chickens or plants.”

One pupil was a regular visitor to the school’s behavioral support house because of his violent outbursts of kicking, punching and throwing furniture around. While he struggled with academic work, he discovered that he excelled at the the practical side of beekeeping: making the wooden frames that go into the hive, and dismantling the hive to access the honey.

When the Guardian’s bees expert, Alison Benjamin, visited the school, the pupil told her: “The bees made me peaceful and calm.”

Jo Sparkes, the school gardener, told Benjamin: “We think it is the scale of the responsibility he has been given that he is responding positively to. He can’t kick off around the hive because we, and the bees, need to trust him.

“It’s not just him, other unruly children have also risen to the challenge. They have finally found something they like to do at school and they are good at.”

Chris Deaves, from the British Beekeepers Association, has helped write a guide for teachers thinking about introducing bees to their schools.

He says: “The first thing teachers always ask is, can we keep bees?. And the answer is, yes. Unless there is a restriction in your tenancy agreement, there is no law against keeping bees.”

The second question tends to be about safety: “Parents and governors worry about the effects of stings. People get over-excited about bee stings: although there are occasional tragedies, these are extremely rare.”

A properly thought-out procedure should take care of such anxieties, he advises. Benjamin’s book on urban beekeeping contains a section on how schools can assess risk.

Deaves stresses the importance of consulting an expert about where to put the hive. Bees follow flight paths, and you want to avoid establishing one across the school playground.

Surprisingly, having a hive on site doesn’t mean that there will be more bees around. Bees forage 2-3 km from their hive – and not within 100m of it.

Baker wholeheartedly recommends beekeeping: “When I first looked into it, I was thinking of the curriculum. But it has had unexpected spin-offs – it has given parents and children a common interest, improved the behavior of disaffected pupils, and worked on the two extra ‘r’s’ in the curriculum: respect and responsibility.”

[click here to read the original article on guardian.co.uk]

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