Friday, May 15, 2015

Help For The Bees

Today's Lesson From Outside The Craft Room:  Provide Help For The Bees
"One-third of every bite we eat is due to a pollinator," Scott Black, executive director of the invertebrate conservation nonprofit Xerces Society told the Huffington Post last year.   He continued, "These pollinators are vital for us as humans, but they're also vital for the planet -- we require animal pollination for 85 percent of flowering plants. These bees are producing the fruits and the seeds from pollination that feed everything from songbirds to grizzly bears."  We forget how much we really on these beautiful pollinators and how different our lives would look without them.
The other day Michael and I were out for a walk with Buddy and we came upon a swarm of bees on the ground.  They were wet and some were barely moving, but we had hope for them.  We are comfortable around bees - we have a few bird baths in the backyard that we fill with a very low level of water so that the bees can come and get the water they need.  Every so often a bee will land in the water and their body temperature quickly drops and they look as if they are dead.  But we pick them up and blow on them to warm them up and it is amazing to watch them spring back to life and fly off on their journey.  Sometimes we have even had to bring a bee in overnight - we have a little "bee box" that we created that we place flowers and sugar water in - because they won't fly at night.  So when we saw this pile of bees, we knew there must be something we could do to help.  We made a little lean-to with cardboard and a tarp (since rain was threatening) and then we hit the internet to find somehow who might help.  We contacted Gregg McMahan (aka The Bee Guru here in Denver) by phone and he was able to send out a call to local beekeepers to see if someone could come and relocate this swarm.  Within and hour and a half I was standing in the pouring rain with a beekeeper named Brent and a friend of his and we were capturing all the bees to be relocated to a safe spot where they could thrive!  It was a thrill!  The bees were totally willing participants - not an angry bee in the bunch!  (I am not recommending relocating bees on your own - please consult an expert!!!).  While we were waiting for Brent's arrival, someone walked by us and said, "Oh!  Those bees have been there for a few days!  When I was out the other day someone told me to be careful!"  Learning this made me sad.  Knowing that someone could have saved more of these bees had they made a call a few days earlier.  Don't just walk by.  See if you can help.  Provide help for the bees - we need each other!


Lorraine said...

Kudos to you for taking the time to care for those bees. I don't think I would be as calm around them. I do worry though how they are affected by all the radio waves and of course, pesticides. I don't think I could live without fruit and flowers.

Doris said...

Humans are doomed if we lose our bees. Sending huge thanks to you and Michael for helping to save this swarm. Most people would not know what to do, or be too afraid of getting stung. We once had some bumblebees take up residence in an abandoned bird house. I couldn't garden near there for the season, for fear of disturbing the nest, but I felt so blessed that the bees had chosen our yard as their residence. (Mind you, I was even more thrilled the next year when a wren moved in, instead.) :-)