Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Bee pet? Not your best bet!
Over the weekend our ward had a party at a nearby state park. In our ward we have an entomologist, who also happens to enjoy children, and subsequently brings assorted creepy crawlies to ward events to educate and entertain the kids. He brought a beehive this time, housing 6,000 bees, give or take a few. This made several of the mothers nervous, but the fearless kids were delighted. They got to try on bee keeper hats and see how the smoke is used to make the bees docile, and then caught them in nets.
The best part was getting to eat the honey. Some even ate bee larva. Ewww!
Maddy became enamored with a bee she caught and asked if she could keep it. So, both girls came home with pet bees. This isn't as dangerous as it sounds, since they were both males and had no stingers. They lovingly served them drops of honey and made soft beds for them out of lamb's ear. Unfortunately, Maddy's bee, "BB" was lost as he was carried outside, and Emily's bee, "Bumble", passed away yesterday. It was heartbreaking to them both, but not unexpected, as they had been told they would not survive more than a couple days away from the colony.
Sadly, some %70 of the honeybee populations around the world have suffered tragic losses recently. I guess a mite that the bees get carries a virus that is causing the problem. But, a couple weeks ago the military was able to isolate the virus. Hopefully, they will now be able to find a treatment. It's not just honey that we'll miss otherwise. The bees are relied on to pollinate a huge percentage of the fruits and vegetables we eat, as well.
PS. Cyrus had his 2 month check up yesterday. He is now 15 lbs 1 oz, or just half a pound shy of having doubled his birth weight!