Today is simply like any other day in the life of a worker honey bee. The sun sits, a glowing yellow orb of light, high up in the sky, beating down upon the earth with its incessant heat. The warmth of the air carries along, of a multitude of precious flowers, the scent that smells scorched by the unwavering torridity of this summer.
The worker bee is hard at work, buzzing through the air, collecting from as many flowers as possible the nectar and pollen that will sustain the colony. It isn’t an easy life, that of a dedicated worker bee, but it is the life each and every one of them must fulfill.
And so, they work on, cross-pollinating and collecting food for the colony, even in the dead of summer, the heat roasting their bodies, making their strenuous journeys all that much more difficult.
You Are the Honey Bee
Now imagine yourself. You are the worker bee.
Born in a cell cleaned meticulously by the worker bees who came before you. In the first days of your life, you spent your time fastidiously cleaning that cell and others to make way for the generation of honey bees to come.
From there, you soon took on the task of undertaker, paying your respects to those elders deceased, and carrying them far away from the hive so as to ensure they do not become health risks to the rest of the colony.
And at the same time, you may have also tended to both her majesty the Queen and some of the young ones, making sure their most basic needs were well taken care of.
Afterwards it was your time to collect nectar and climate control the hive, taking the nectar and pollen from the working field bees and depositing them into cells marked for just that, following which you took your turn to fan the hive, effectively controlling its temperature and humidity.
And it was during this time you became ready to produce your own beeswax to use in the creation of new honeycomb and the capping of the honey and pupa cells.
Subsequently, as your last duty to the hive before venturing out into the world to collect nectar and pollen to bring back, you guarded the hive, constantly alert, checking each bee for a familiar scent, to ensure no thieves entered to steal any honey or pollen.
Finally, you were allowed out, familiarizing yourself with the look of the hive and its surroundings to aid you in your journey back after collecting food.
And that is where you find yourself now, outside, passing from flower to flower gathering as much as you can to sustain the colony.
The Lawn of Eden
But now you’ve stumbled into a backyard, one that stretches for what seems to you like miles and miles, the soft green grass and beautiful flowers seemingly too good to be true.
Here, there is no such plant as a weed, everything imaginable one killed at its youth, never allowed to grow.
One might assume, the lack of weeds and the rather unbelievably pristine state of the yard could be due to a meticulous house owner, weeding out the bad plants and carefully caring for the good ones, and it is.
But, there’s just one little caveat.
You see, the weeds may be weeded out, and stopped at their roots, but what of the pesky little creatures nibbling on the luscious garden plants?
There are many remedies to the problem of garden pests, but one of the easiest is simply a strong pesticide. It’ll remove all pests and that’ll be that, end of story right?
Yes, indeed pesticides are great. That’s a wrap folks I’m done!
Honey Bees Are People Too
But in all seriousness, besides being potentially harmful to the actual plants, these pesticides kill more than just the pests gardeners want to get rid of.
They kill everything, even, say, honey bees. You know, the worker kind, that you’re imagining yourself as right now?
Pesticides on plants make it so that when that hard working honey bee comes along and tries to take some nectar and pollen back to its hive, it can’t, dying before it makes it back.
And this problem is pretty apparent because right now bees are going through a huge decline in population—in six years about 10 million hives were lost—named Colony Collapse Disorder.
And, right now you are the honey bee, so think about it.
How would it feel to be that honey bee, just minding its own business just trying to get its nectar and pollen and perhaps even pollinate some plants on the way, when suddenly you’re hit by a wave of insecticide, and that’s it? There’s nothing to be done about it, you’re just dead, never to be seen by your colony again.
Now, that’s not why you should care about honey bees, it’s just something to think about.
The actual reason why you should care is as follows.
No More Vegetables
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, honey bees pollinate around 80% of all flowering crops in the U.S at least, or in other words they pollinate about 1/3 of all of our crops here.
They pollinate all sorts of things from apples and blueberries to cucumbers and broccoli, and even if you’re not big into vegetables, honey bees help pollinate alfalfa which is the grain that most livestock is fed, so if honey bees die, then all of these plants suffer because they rely on pollination to stay alive.
And fun fact, the fact that these bees pollinate around 80% of our crops in the U.S at least means that they pollinate about $20 billion worth of our crops according to the U.S Department of Agriculture.
So, you should care about honey bees because without them, we could suffer a huge loss of crops and food, and as a nation, money too, because either directly or indirectly a huge amount of our natural foods rely on honey bee cross-pollination to survive.
And Thus, Honey Bee Day Was Born
And because honey bees are declining in population and declining fast, beekeepers in the U.S came up with National Honey Bee Day, on the third Saturday of August—August 20 this year—to celebrate honey bees and raise awareness about the importance of honey bees.
So let’s celebrate August 20! It’s Honey Bee Day after all!
In the past people have done things like honey tastings, movie showings, environmental center programs, and more.
And even if you can’t do that, there’s still a way you can help, and, bonus, it’ll save you money.
To Save the Bees
Don’t use neonicotinoid pesticides, or the chemical ones that you get in stores. If pests are a huge problem in your garden, there are alternative methods you could use to keep them away.
For earwigs, you can roll up sheets of wet newspaper and lay them around the garden. If you pick them up before they dry out, all the earwigs in your garden will be in them and you can just burn the papers or tie them up in plastic bags with no openings—to keep the earwigs in—and throw them away.
And if you’ve got aphids damaging your plants, you can combat them by making your own citrus peel spray. All you’ve got to do is grate a lemon or orange peel and mix it with about a pint or 500 ml of boiling water. After that, steep it overnight, filter through a coffee or tea strainer in the morning to remove the bits of rind. Then put it in a spray bottle and spray your aphid problem away.
Also for cutworms, you can just stick a toothpick a quarter inch away from your seedlings’ stems, so that the cutworms won’t be able to circle the plant to cut and kill it.
And like this, you can get rid of all sorts of pests, without hurting any honey bees in the process. So, what do you say? Will you do it?
Alright! I’m gonna take that as a yes!
So now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into some interesting quotes about honey bees, you know because we’re all about quotes here at Craft Street Design.
Honey Bee Quotes
“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” – St. John Chrysostom
Day in and day out the worker bee labors on, buzzing from flower to flower, endlessly collecting buckets of honey and pollen.
The bee does this not for its own good, but for the greater good of the hive, and so continues on, laboring for the entirety of the hive, without much of a thought to itself.
The bee is selfless, and far-seeing, knowing that sometimes sacrifices must be made if the swarm is to benefit in the long-term. And so, it is no problem working so hard every day, because the bee knows that doing this will be good for everyone in the future.
That is why the bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.
And so, I think, the lesson, if any is to be taken from this quote, is this:
One cannot always work for merely oneself. In the short-term, yes such is more beneficial in its immediate gains.
But in the case of the greater good, when fighting for a common greater goal with others, one must learn to make the sacrifice of giving up thought of oneself and adopting thought of the group as a whole. This way, everyone fights for what is good for the group, not simply themselves, and so their goals may finally be achieved and change may be had.
“May we go about our days as honey bees go about theirs.” – Elder M. Russell Ballard
Laying idle, couch potatoes, the lot of us. The easiest thing to do is nothing, and so it is no wonder we procrastinate. Still, that’s no excuse.
If even the honey bees can bring themselves to labor, day in and day out, rain or shine, for their goal of honey-making, for our own goals we should be able to do the same.
From the honey bee, we’ve got to learn.
We’ve got to learn how to think of the future, how to think of what is good for us and others, and work towards that which we want with these things held firmly in mind.
That is what such pollen and nectar gathering is for the honey bee, and so we must do simply that to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals, no matter how difficult they may seem.
And so, let us go about our days as honey bees go about theirs and never stop working hard towards our dreams.
“The busy bee has no time for sorrow.” – William Blake
Idleness merely amplifies sorrow as when idle, you’ve got nothing else but to think of your sorrows and mope around all day.
But when you are engrossed in your work, you’ve got no time for sorrow.
Just ask the busy worker bee. Hopping from flower to flower endlessly collecting nectar and pollen. In its day-to-day journey, it has no time to stop and think of what’s gone wrong in its life.
All it has is the future and its ability to continue moving forward no matter what tries to stop it.
And so, it would do us all good to quit in our ways of laziness and make like the busy bee, for the busy bee has no time for sorrow.
“That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bee.” – Marcus Aurelius
When we are part of a team, what matters is the group as a collective, as different individuals merging to become one and work towards a common goal.
So, on a team, if we wish to be successful, we’ve got to think not for ourselves, but for the good of the group, that way we work as one, casting aside petty disagreements and working towards what is good for everyone.
And if we all remember to do just that, there’ll be nothing in the universe we can’t achieve together.
“One bee makes no swarm.” – French Proverb
As one, the world is overwhelming, easily overtaking us and forcing us into inactivity simply because we cannot handle everything coming towards us at once.
But together, the world becomes a much less difficult place, and life becomes easier with more hands to help out when things get too hard to handle by ourselves.
And that is precisely why we must stick together, because one bee makes no swarm, and if we wish to become successful in life, we’ll have to rely on others sometimes to help us, and if we can accept that and work together side-by-side, the world becomes ours for the taking.
So Let’s Get Out There and Save the Bees!
So with all of that, what do you say? Do you like honey bees now? Are you going to start celebrating Honey Bee Day?
I hope so, the little buggers are quite amazing, and important, don’t forget important, what with the pollinating 80% of all flowering plants and all.
So yes, let’s all celebrate honey bees, maybe even become beekeepers who knows! And let’s always strive to be like the honey bees, hard-working and resilient to no end.
Because as honey bees, working together always, rain or shine, under any and all circumstances, there’s nothing in the world that can stop us.
So, what brought you here today? Did you already know about Honey Bee Day or is it completely new to you? And do you know any inspiring quotes or stories about honey bees? I’d really like to know down in the comment section below.