Don’t Step on a Bee Day

July 10 is Don’t Step on a Bee Day, a holiday I’m sure we can all appreciate! My first encounter with a bee when was I was a child. I didn’t notice one was on my arm, and when I bent the arm, the bee wasn’t pleased. Neither was I. I seem to have a natural attraction for bees. It’s an unusual season when I don’t get stung at least once. Last year there was one on the railing going down my porch steps and I put my hand on it. Ouch!

However, we couldn’t, of course, get along without bees to pollinate our plants and flowers. In 2015-2016 (April to April), beekeepers lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies. According to Bee Informed, the twin culprits were the “varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll,” they added. The Department of Agriculture mentions “Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is a syndrome specifically defined as a dead colony with no adult bees and with no dead bee bodies but with a live queen, and usually honey and immature bees, still present.” They say there is no proven scientific cause for this, though many would blame pesticides.

Under the heading, “why should the public care about what happens to honey bees, they say, “About one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. Commercial production of many high-value and specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables depend on pollination by honey bees. These are the foods that give our diet diversity, color, and flavor.”

So let us celebrate bees today, and please, don’t step on one!


Quotes about bees.

If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.–Maurice Maeterlinck (The Life of the Bee)

The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.–Henry David Thoreau

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.–Henry David Thoreau

Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.–Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)

There is only one real reason to keep bees, and that is because they are fascinating. If you just want honey, make friends with a beekeeper.–Adrian the Bee Man

For bees, the flower is the fountain of life;
For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.
–Kahlil Gibran

How doth does the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
from each and every flower
–Isaac Watts

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!
–Emily Dickinson

The only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee…The only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey….and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.–A. A. Milne (The House at Pooh Corner)

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.–Mary Kay Ash

Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
from each and every flower
–Isaac Watts

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