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Thursday, April 15, 2010

P is for Pollination

When I was growing up with my grandmother she taught me a lot about nature. She would get spiders outside with a newspaper if they got in the house, she would tell me spiders kill mosquitos. I did not like all my mosquito bites, so spiders became my friends. I would not step on them or kill them.  I loved Charlottes' web so it worked. Once there was a bat in my room, and I crawled on the floor screaming, she calmly said, Let's open the front door and the bat will feel the vibrations from the cool air outside and will find his way out. I was frozen I couldn't move.
As far as honeybee she had a large flower garden with much Sage, Thyme  Allium and the honey bees were always there. She would tell me about how they help us get food we eat today, I did not understand that when I was small, but soon I did. She had a neighbor who had a farm and he had hives on his property and we would go visit him when he wore his bee suit and he would go into the hive with a smoker. The smoke just calms the bees so you can check on things in the hive.
I became very interested in hives and beekeeping. When I met my husband and we were first dating he told me he had been a beekeeper for many years from 14- adulthood. I was surprised and pleased to hear it.

Have I been stung, yes but bees are not aggressive creatures. 
But I meet women who have taught their kids to run or to hit or to swat at this post is to make people aware of the importance of bees.
 So if you run like a banshee every time you see an insect this post may or may not be for you...
To the average person, a bee is any insect he thinks might be able to sting him.
 Wasps, hornets, even some buzzing flies come under this heading.I see people screaming,"A bee!! a bee, he'll bite me- very often. why such people use the word bite instead of sting is beyond me? This is the bee image that I am trying to change today with my post.Yellow jackets are most often mistaken for honeybees. They're smaller,and a little yellower even than a good strain of Italian bee. ( we have Italian honeybees)
 seriously that is there name. The bumblebee is a very large bee and it is hard to see how it could be mistaken for a honeybee. Wasps, are longer and thinner than a honeybee.
What exactly is a bee? We can think of bees as vegetarian wasps. Wasps are carnivores that eat mostly other insects. All species of bees, on the other hand, get their energy from nectar and their protein from pollen. both of which are plant products. In fact, the relationship between most flowering plants and bees is a close one of mutual dependence. As bees visit flowers to collect pollen, they inevitably cross-pollinate the flowers, enabling the plant to grow seeds and reproduce. Although, many kinds of insects eat nectar, only bees convert it to honey-mankind's oldest sweet.
Honeybee or honey bee? This is a tomato/TOMATO issue. Either way is correct. The honeybees is a true bee, like a house fly is a true fly, and thus should be 2 words. A dragonfly, on the other hand, is not a fly; hence it is one word. Spell it both ways if you are going to web surf. Did you know that honeybees can fly approximately 10-15 miles per hour. They also do a dance when they return the hive, if they have found a good spot to get pollen- the dance tells the distance, direction and quality of the flowers.
What does a bee do? it pollinates....

Pollination: The transfer of pollen from the anthers of a flower to the stigma of the same flower or of another flower. Pollination is a prerequisite for fertilization: the fusion of nuclei from the pollen grain with nuclei in the ovule. Fertilization allows the flower to develop seeds.
Some flowers will develop seeds as a result of self-pollination, when pollen and pistil are from the same plant, often (but not always) from the same flower. Other plants require cross-pollination: pollen and pistil must be from different plants.

Most plants need help moving pollen from one flower to the pistil of another. Wind moves the pollen for some plants such as grasses like corn. Animal pollinators move pollen for many other flowering plants.

Pollinator: An animal that moves pollen from the anthers to the stigmas of flowers, thus effecting pollination. Animals that are known to be good pollinators of flowers include bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, some flies, some wasps, and nectar feeding bats.

What are the benefits? Plants benefit from pollinators because the movement of pollen allows them to reproduce by setting seeds. However, pollinators don't know or care that the plant benefits. They pollinate to get nectar and/or pollen from flowers to meet their energy requirements and to produce offspring. In the economy of nature, the pollinators provide an important service to flowering plants, while the plants pay with food for the pollinators and their offspring.
 National Pollinator Week is June 21-27. Start planning your polination event- go to

Why bees make great pollinators:
The honey bee's anatomy is well suited for carrying pollen. Her body and legs are covered with branched hairs that catch and hold pollen grains. The bee's hind legs contain pollen baksets- they use this to transport pollen, a major source of food, back to the hive.
 Most other insects lie dormant all winter and in spring emerge only in small numbers, until increasing generations  have rebuilt the population of the species. Not the honeybee population, Its hive is perennial. The queen bee begins to lay her eggs in the spring.When flowers begin to bloom, each hive has tens of thousands of bees to carry out pollination activities.
  The honey bee has a unique habit that's of great value as a pollinator. It tends to forage on blooms of the same kind, as long as they're flowering.
The honeybee is one of the only pollinating insects that can be introduced to a garden at the gardners will. You can garden on a hit-or-miss basis and hope that enough wild bees are out there to achieve adequate pollination- or you can take positive steps and nestle a colony of honey bees in the corner of your garden.

A honeybee colony is a superorganism of social insects working together for the benefit of all. Honey bees show just how efficient working together can be. Three sorts of bee are found in a colony: the queen, the workers and the drones.

 In order to help these beautiful bees, Häagen-Dazs ice cream uses only all-natural ingredients in their recipes. Bee pollination is essential for ingredients in nearly 50 percent of the company’s all-natural superpremium flavors. Their goal is to raise awareness of the honey bee issue so that our communities work together to bring them back.

Häagen-Dazs has created a special flavor to make spreading honey bee awareness that much sweeter. Vanilla Honey Bee is the company’s delicious tribute to these essential creatures. In recognition of their reliance on honey bees for their food, Häagen-Dazs is donating money to help fund honey bee research. Here’s how you can help: Every time you buy a carton of our bee-built flavors (listed below), you help the company get closer to reaching the donation goal. You can also visit the Web site to learn how to donate to the cause and how to build your own honey bee garden.

Curious just how many bee-built ingredients are in Häagen-Dazs products? Take a look at this.
Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt Flavor: Bee-built ingredients
Banana Split: Cherries, Strawberries
Caramelized Pear & Toasted Pecan: Pears
Cherry Vanilla: Cherries
Chocolate Peanut Butter: Peanuts
Macadamia: Macadamia Nuts
Mango: Mango
Mint Chip: Peppermint
Pineapple Coconut: Coconuts
Peanut Butter Brittle (Limited Edition): Peanuts
Peppermint Bark (Limited Edition): Peppermint
Rocky Road: Almonds
Strawberry: Strawberries
Strawberry Cheesecake: Strawberries
Vanilla Honey Bee: Honey
Vanilla Swiss Almond: Almonds
White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle: Raspberries
Ginger: Ginger
Mint: Mint
Passion Fruit: Passion Fruit
Caramelized Hazelnut Gianduja: Hazelnuts
Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream: Honey
Pomegranate Chip: Pomegranates
Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle: Coconuts
Cranberry Blueberry: Cranberries and Blueberries
Orange: Oranges
Orchard Peach: Peaches
Raspberry: Raspberries
Zesty Lemon: Lemons
Vanilla Honey & Granola: Honey
Vanilla Raspberry Swirl: Raspberries
Wildberry: Blueberries, Strawberries Raspberries
Vanilla & Almonds: Almonds
Coffee & Almond Crunch Snack Size: Almonds
Pomegranate & Dark Chocolate: Pomegranate
Raspberry Sorbet & Vanilla Yogurt: Raspberries
Share and Enjoy:
I love ice cream and Hagan das is one of my favorites- they have a terrific website which is visually apealling and imforative- go

 I have worked at schools that have an observation hive like the one pictures above, children love to see the colony working and all the kinds of bees inside. We have an observation hive in our home too- An observation beehive is a small colony of honey bees kept in a hive with clear plastic or glass walls.This allows you to see all the activities that happen inside the normally dark beehive. We will also be selling honey this year-

When we thought of selling honey, we had no idea how good it was for you and that it actually is thought to help beat cancer!  Here is what else people say about Honey is a good source of anti-oxidants.  They play a big role in the prevention of cancer as well as heart disease.According to the national honey institute, honey may be beneficial to athletes by reducing fatigue.  Honey is a good source of fructose. Honey may also be effective in 
the treatment of ulcers. Honey is also good for your skin. You can use honey as a moisturizing
mask for your skin as well as your hair. To use as a conditioner, mix honey and olive oil-Wash
you hair out before you go outside-!!IF you have a sore throat, take honey. It may not heal
your throat, but it will make it feel better as it heals. The taste may also keep your mind of 
the pain.If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial, if you eat honey for your local area, it may prevent you from getting seasonal allergies. Bees use pollen from local plants and eventually it ends up in your honey. There is also evidence that honey diluted in water will help you with
stomachaches and dehydration.
I think it is important to teach children about bees, and the movie bmovie helped to make awareness. Some of the facts were not correct but all in all it go the message out there. One way is to be part of a fun informal science project. Watch and record bees on sunflowers then share your data. go better yet grow some sunflower in your yard this year.  Yes, children can be allergic to bees and I am sure if that is your case you are more guarded and have your epi pen handy, but there is no reason to just kill a honeybee that poses no threat by flying by.

Many of you have heard of the Sundance film festival there is a movie by Diane Bell entitled
Obselidia that looks very interesting and has some bee awareness info. go to youtube and put in Obselidia trailer.
Educating the public when it comes to bees and what they look like, what they do, why they are important and providing forage for bees is important for the Earth and for us. In honor of earth day, think about this - leave your garden in a more natural state. Don't be so concerned about having vast expanses of green grass. Especially in back yards. If you are a person with a garden than plant a few of the honeybees favorites:a great resource for this is a book called Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy  this book was also mentioned in the NEW YORK TIMES march 6, 2010. What kind of plants do bees like
*Fennel *lamb's ear*Rosemary*Sage*Mint*Chives*Oregano* Lavender* Bee balm* sunflowers* zinnias
So I like honey and I wanted to leave you with a few of my favorite honey recipes:Frozen lemonade with frozen fruit cubes makes 6 You need: 1 1/2 cusp lemon juice, 3/4 cup of honey, 9 cups of water and 48 pieces of assorted fruit. 1. Combine the lemon juice and honey in a large pitcher, stir until the honey is dissolved. Stir in the water. 2. Place 1 or 2 pieces of fruit in each compartment of 2 ice cube trays ( most people dont' even own these any more) fill each compartment with honey lemonade and freeze. Chill the remaining lemonade. 3. To serve, divide the frozen fruit cubes among tall glasses and fill with the remaining lemonade.
 A Good dinner recipe: Linguini with honey prawns serves about 4 -You need: 1 lb of prawns, peeled and deveined, 1/2 cup julienned carrots, 1/2 cup sliced celery,1/2 cup diagonally sliced green onions, 3 cloves, garlic minced, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup honey, 4 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves (from your new garden, hint hint) 1 lb of cooked linguini al dente kept warm-1. In a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat, stir fry the pawns, carrots, celery, gren onion and garlic in the oil for about 3 minutes, or until prawns turn pink. 2. Combine the water, honey, conrnstarch, salt , red pepper flakes and rosemary in a small bowl and  mix well. Add to the prawns mixture and stir fry for 1 minute or until the sauce thickens a bit. Pour over the cooked pasta and serve immediately. YUM
 We rely on honey bees for one- third of our food supply. So when honeybees are in danger, we're in danger. Over the last 3years more than 1 in 3 honey bee colonies have died. This is called Colony Collapse. The honeybees mysteriously desert the hive and die. In short, this is serious, so learn all you can spread some of what you learned today on your blog, inform each other, plant a garden and in short, you'll be captivated by these remarkable little creatures. Starting a hive would be the best start but if you are not comfortable with that or feel you don't know enough to do that, then get planting those bee friendly forage.
I continue my posts and challenge from Arlee at tossing it out and will be doing letter
Q for Quiet romantic dinners. I hope this POST was PERHAPS very imformative and even fun and that you think differently now about POLLEN and that you are PREPARING your nursery garden shopping list as we speak.


Nf1andprek-whisper said...

I worked so hard on this post and I am not able to allign the entire post so it can be read with my new bee background if anyone knows how please email me at

Ellie said...

I love your background, very pretty! Great post,
I know, sometimes I have to shrink my pics and this allows room. You choose a smaller size, then first selected. This works on my blog, worth a try! Very informative and fun to read!

Holly said...

I know so much about honeybees now. I actually love daughters room is a bee theme.

I do not know how to help with the text/post issue...sorry.

I do like your new look!

Holly said...

I forgot...the recipe sounds you think it would work with chicken...I am deathly allergic to shrimp.

Kelly said...

Hi, it's Kelly from Little Wonders' Days. This is a beautiful post, even with it not aligning well. I'd love to know some more flower books.
BTW, I'm a 40 something mom too and I was born in Rhinebeck, NY. My grandparents lived in Staatsburg and I spent my childhood summers playing along the Hudson. Grandparents are amazing teachers, somehow teaching us things that last a lifetime and become such a part of us.

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

Little Wonders, Kelly I have been trying to write to you on your blog, I can't get in to comment or to email you- I hope you see this and can send me your email some how, I would love to talk to you- where do you live now?

Dina said...

following from ff, great post i am into honey and plants of all kinds. bummer your worked so hard and the article is cujt off.

Slushpile Slut said...

Awesome post! I love bees and am not the least bit scared of them...I work with young kids though who are typically petrified of bees! I just tell them that the bees are just checking to see if they are flowers and if they're still, all will okay. I also take bee pollen daily because it's so good for you and I think it's awesome you guys have an indoor hive...That would be so neat to watch.

gayle said...

Great post!! I love to watch bees! I am trying to teach my grandson not to be afraid of bees, wasps etc!

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