marsha ruth ross
© 2016 MARSHA ROSS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
In just the last ten years, over 40% of the bee colonies in the US have suffered Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Bees either become so disoriented they can’t find their way back to their hives and die away from home, or fly back poison-drunk and die at the foot of their queen. There are many arguments as to what is causing CCD, but the most logical and likely culprit is the increased usage of pesticides.
The plight of the bees is of concern today because many crops are heavily dependant on bees to pollinate the plants. Here are a few: apples, mangos, kiwi, plums,, peaches, alfalfa, beans, cotton, sunflower oil, lemons, figs, carrots, cucumber, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, berries, clover, etc.
There are two beehives at our home and from year to year, we do not know if the bees will suffer from CCD or if they will survive to the following year.
This is a creation of art work depicting the life of bees which I hope will raise the consciousness of viewers that the fate of bees in the future is still in danger.
The construction is the size of an actual beehive with bee frames. The top box depicts the life of the bees outside of the hive and the bottom box displays the life of bees within the hive including their life cycle and the production of honey.
"Round Dance": Bees returning to the hive perform a dance to signal the direction of food which is less than 35 yards away. The "Waggle Dance" is performed if the food source is farther away. The waggle is shaped like a figure "8" and the length of the dance signals the distance to the food. The direction of the dance in based upon the direction of the sun.
Returning from foraging, bees exchange nectar with a worker bee for depositing cells. The worker bee will "chew" the nectar for a time to reduce complex sugars with enzymes to make it more digestible to the bees.
The bees spread the nectar throughout the honeycombs where water evaporates from it, making it a thicker syrup. The bees make the nectar dry even faster by fanning it with their wings. Once thick enough, the bees seal off the cell of the honeycomb with a plug of wax. The honey is stored until it is eaten or harvested. In one year, a colony of bees eats between 120 and 200 pounds of honey.
Bees get nectar from flowers using their long, tubelike tongues like straws to suck the nectar out of the flowers and they store it in their "honey stomachs". Bees have two stomachs, their honey stomach and their regular stomach.
The honey stomach holds almost 70 mg of nectar and when full, it nearly matches the body weight of the bee!
Honeybees must visit between 100 and 1500 flowers to obtain a maximum load of nectar.
While foraging, bees encounter a multitude of pesticides which are harmful to them. Many farms around the world are still spraying crops with chemicals which known to be lethal to the bee population. Scientists and farmers are working together to attempt to protect bees for pollination of crops while reducing weeds and other invasive insects which are injurious to the crops.
To help....try raising some bees of your own!