Yesterday morning, my husband and I were sitting by the hotel pool. We had just finished our swim and were enjoying the mild sunshine and low humidity as we waited for our lunch to arrive. As he looked up, my husband said “That bee just dove into the pool.”
“Go find a net or something to fish him out,” I said. My husband wandered around the pool looking for something to save the bee.
Meantime, the bee was moving toward the side of the pool with with surprising speed and steadfast purpose. He looked like he was swimming. Was he doing the thorax stroke or the wing over wing crawl?
As he got closer to the side of the pool, I reached over with the plastic-coated menu and fished him out. Before I could lift the menu high enough to let him crawl off it, the large fuzzy bumble bee flew off. I have never seen a bee that resilient. Somehow I have a feeling this was not his first dip in the pool.
The last time I had experienced a bee and liquid was when a another large bumble bee flew into my glass of chardonnay several years before. He must of gotten a good sip before we fished him out with a spoon. He acted quite buzzed and staggered around for several minutes on the concrete before finally flying off in a very zigzag pattern.
Today, we were at the Market at Grelen and I had another indirect bee experience. I saw this captivating sign near their flower garden. “Caution! Honey Bee Flight Path Ahead” Although I didn’t get to see any actual honey bees I was totally beguiled by the sign.
My recent bee experiences reminded me that these pollinators are in danger. Pesticides and habitat loss are among the reasons that bee and butterfly populations are declining. According to Justin Worland in March 2, 2017 Time article, “More than 700 North American Bee Species are Headed Toward Extinction.”
The pollinators are responsible for a lot of the world’s agriculture. Without them, many of the plants we have now would not be possible. According to Fox news, “The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans. The species can pollinate over 75 percent of flowering plants and crops, making it one of the top pollinators in the U.S. That means the bee can travel up to 6 miles a day and pollinate between 50 to 100 flowers per trip. The pollination process occurs when the pollen sac from one flower sticks to a honey bee’s legs and is transferred to another plant. The pollen within the sac spills out when the bee lands on the plant, causing it to be fertilized.”
What can we do to help save the bees? Some suggestions include planting Bee friendly trees and plants. Some plants bloom in the spring or the fall. Other plants bloom all summer. Don’t use pesticides in your lawn. Support your local beekeeper by buying local honey. Provide a small dish of water for the bees to drink from.
What are you doing to help save pollinators? Join in the conversation on what you are doing to save the bees, butterflies, and bats that we depend upon to keep the plants going that we need for both food and beauty? We truly are all in this together.