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What's All the Buzz About? Honeybees


"The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey ...  And the only reason for making honey, is so as I can eat it." —Winnie the Pooh

Do you know how a bee makes honey?, Digital ID 1519781, New York Public LibraryI have found myself enthralled in the world of honeybees and their plight. I don't know how much people know about colony collapse disorder, but it's a real thing!

I love tea and I love honey... but there is a major problem in our world right now that I think either people are ignoring or just simply have no idea that it is happening. Time magazine's August 19th issue contains "The Plight of the Honeybee," written by Bryan Walsh.

If you can't get your hands on a copy of the magazine, click on the link to access the article through one of our databases! (All you need is a valid library card.)

At the end of the article, Walsh states that "one-third of the food in our diet relies to some extent on bee pollination." Here are the top five foods on that list: almonds, apples, asparagus, avocado, broccoli and blueberries. Crazy, right?

I grew up in the country where nature surrounded me. Living in Manhattan has definitely made me appreciative of my country living upbringing—quiet, slow-paced, and visually aesthetic. I miss sitting on my front porch in the morning sipping coffee listening to the buzz of the bees while they were pollinating my mom's flowers... I remember as a child being frightened of the swarm of honeybees that had gathered outside our kitchen door. My mom called a local beekeeper to come and remove them. Sadly the two local beekeepers I know have since retired and sold their bees and hives off.

Here are two documentaries: Queen of the Sun, and The Vanishing of the Bees, as well as a book written by Hannah Nordhaus: The Beekeeper's Lament (this title is also available as an e-book!)

Honey-Bee (Apis Mellifica) ; Head And Appendages Of Honey-Bee (Apis) (Magnified Sixteen Times).,Head and appendages of honey-bee (Apis) (magnified sixteen times)., Digital ID 806365, New York Public LibraryHoney-Bee (Apis Mellifica) ; Head And Appendages Of Honey-Bee (Apis) (Magnified Sixteen Times).,Head and appendages of honey-bee (Apis) (magnified sixteen times)., Digital ID 806365, New York Public LibraryI can't remember how many times I have been stung, but I do remember two moments in my life that the bee got me pretty good: once in the face and once in between my toes. From doing some research through the Digital Collections I found this small little clipping that gives some information about honeybees and their stingers!

As an added bonus here is a quick keyword search on honeybees and a subject search on bee culture (beekeeping).

One super-fun fact: beekeeping was made legal in New York City in 2010—here is a short article in The New York Times' City Room.

Enjoy all the buzz.


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Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this information about honeybees,it amaze me how much I didn't know about the plight of honeybees look forward to reading more about bees to better understand their role in nature.

Bee Stings

I've always been grateful to have never been stung by a bee. But that fact seems like a strange absence now, as if a certain painful avoidance is not always necessarily, the best path. Great blog post, Amber!!!

Plight of the Bees

I have been hearing about this strange phenom for a couple of years now. Came to realize that a large part of our food is because of the bees! Almond growers have begun to sound alarms since their crops would suffer the most and prices would skyrocket. I beleive that is why beekeepers were allowed to set up shop in NYC. In India, farmers have tried to manually cross-polinate crops, essentially doing what bees have done. But you can imagine the arduous work this involves. We need to find out why the bees are not thriving...

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