Warning... This may turn out to be a looong post so do NOT scroll down if you are in a hurry. If you have a few mins, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of something nice, if so inclined... and let us bee-gin.
It all started with an irrepressible urge to collect Peonies from the garden. My house, sorrowfully bloom-less was in great need of some flower therapy.
Let me just add that my dear husband has challenged himself with the art of beekeeping (and thus, honeymaking) in his free time. So, little bees going about their business is a familiar and not particularly disturbing sight. THIS, however, was a little different; this time they had grouped and looked like a threatening, and
More like this...
|Bee-lieve me it was scary...|
The bees had swarmed from the hive and were regrouping on a tree...
The big problem being that all that swarming action was concentrated between me and my peonies.
and yet so far..
Panic in Needle Park !!
I gave up; too afraid to pursue my quest. Ohhh wimpy me... Mind you, I do have my reasons. The last time I was stung by a bee, I ended up looking like Elephant Man and that, my friends, is not an exageration and, without a doubt, reason enough for my retreat!
While I looked at the black swarm from a safe distance, hypnotized by the collective craziness, I
Bee Bee-z-ness...and fun facts...
Did you know?
That the Honeybee has been around for millions of years, looking back then, exactly as it does today.
|Little Honeybee stuck in amber like...forever|
That it IS environmentally friendly (I keep on telling myself...) and is the only insect that produces food eaten by man (not talking here about chocolate covered crickets, grilled ants and other bee-z-areries)...
|Insect delights found in La Grande Epicerie - Le Bon Marché - Paris|
Honey is the only food which includes all substances necessary to sustain life ! Enzymes, vitamines ....it's got it all. And it is the only food containing pinocembrin , an antioxidant associated with brain functioning.
|Swap the word bee for the word mom...|
A colony of bees consists of 20,000 to 60,000 Honeybees and one Queen. The worker Honeybees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do ALL the work.
Larger than the worker bees, are the male Honeybees (also called Drones). They have no stinger and do no work at all. Their ONLY preoccupation is mating !
|Suffragette worker Honeybee at a sit-in...|
The Queen bee can live up to 5 years and is the only bee that lays eggs; up to 2'500 eggs a day! (Give the poor girl a break...)
Talking about Queen B...now this is kind of fun...
Did you know there are parallels between Queen Bee and Queen Bee-Yonce ...other than being the Queen of R&Bee...
The BeyHive is the official name for her collective of avid fans and followers.
Her hair is Honey Blonde and she wears it BeeHive style.
She's into Bee Jewelry too...
|Little Bee Ring by Delfina Delettrez|
|and Honeycomb Cuff|
And has the clothing to go with...
|A pregnant Queen Bee...|
Beyonce is always so Bee-autiful, no matter what she wears !
Now, back to our little bee facts...
Each Honeybee colony has a unique odour for members identification !
|Guerlain - L'Abeille aux Ailes d'Or - Flacon Précieux - Baccarat|
Only the worker bees sting, and only (Ahem...) if they feel threatened. They die afterwards (I'm still not convinced...)
It is estimated that 1100 Honeybee stings can be fatal!
Hence my PANIC - we have 6 beehives at the moment. So if my calculations are correct, that's minimum 120'000 stingers !!
Way over fatal...
But bees aren't always freakin' scary...bees can be cool too...bees can dance !
They communicate with one another by dancing! Studies show that the bee (with its' sesame-sized brain) calculates the most efficient route to nectar and food locations, speedier than a computer. The bee will return to the colony after spotting good feeding spots and transmits the information to the rest of the colony by moving (dancing) in patterns, sharing information on the location in relation to the position of the colony, the food source and the sun.
A hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles; the equivalent of 3 orbits around the earth to collect 1 kilo of honey ! It takes 1 ounce of honey to fuel a bee's flight around the world. And here I am, forever trying to figure out how to trade/use/whatever/ my miles for a plane ticket...
During the winter, the Honeybees feed on the honey they have collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the Queen and themselves warm.
|Fashion Diva - Anna Dello Russo - staying warm with Fendi - Bee Inspired|
|More Fendi - prefall 2014|
|Kate Moss in Versace|
Inspiration from bees can be found in all sorts of places...
|more Chaumet - for their Save the Bees Campaign - Bee my Love Collection|
|Precious vintage bee brooch|
|Adorable vintage bee hive brooch - love those doors|
|1880's Victorian Bee Costume|
|Design for Manhattan Mary, 1927 - Majestic Theatre - New York|
|Viceroy Hotel - Design by Kelly Wearstler|
|David Hicks - Now if that doesn't wake you up in the morning...|
|Honeycomb Design Wallpaper - David Hicks|
|Collection of Honeycomb Vases - Westelm|
|Bee Coin Bank -1920's - keep your money with your honey...|
|Architectural Beehive - detail - Paris...|
|Hexagonal Bee Hotel - aims to bring a boost to the declining wild bee population|
Aganetha Dyck is seriously allergic to bees. She has transcended her fear of the pollen-gathering insect using their tremendous skill to create art.
Aganetha places sculptures into enclosures with the bees in their hive and supervises the removal or addition of honeycombs.
|Highly unusual collaboration between a human artist and some of nature's most creative architects.|
|Bee Sushi Bee...|
|Something to buzz about...|
The Real Deal...
|Bee Afraid... Bee Very Afraid...|
and the Wanna Bees....
and on a softer, more natural note...
And of course Fashion...
|1950's Bathing Suit - Hermes|
|Edwardian Bumble Bee Dress 1900-1905|
|Silk and Gold Bees embroidered on a gown having belonged to Josephine de Beauharnais|
|Always fabulous - Oscar de la Renta|
|Honeycomb hat designed by Guido Palau for Alexander Mc Queen|
|Honeycomb Dress and Bee Choker - Alexander Mc Queen|
|Mc Queen Choker - You can catch more|
Bees throughout history have always fascinated man.
In the Near East and the Aegean cultures the bee was considered a sacred insect bridging the natural world to the underworld.
For the Egyptians, bees grew from the tears of their Sun God, Ra.
The Hindus believed that the bowstring of their Love God, Kamadeva, was made up of Honeybees.
The Mayas even had a Bee-God, Ah-Muzen-Cab. They considered honey; food for the Gods.
Beekeeping was also a Minoan craft and the fermented honey drink Mead was an old Cretan intoxitant, older than wine.
During prohibition, honey was supposedly used to sweeten the bitterness and foul flavour of bad quality gin.
Here, a little recipe dating back from 1934....
The Bee's Knees
Too much of which may just lead to this...
And that could lead to disaster...like forgetting to wear your beekeeping gear...
|You know you hate it when that happens...|
So in all times and under all latitudes, man has bee-kept and honey- made !! But bees are in peril today and more than ever, the struggle to maintain a healthy bee population is a major concern which must be addressed and taken seriously.
"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than 4 years to live" - Albert Einstein.
All efforts to preserve bees are worth the time, the energy and the dedication invested in the noble art of beekeeping; but also the frustration and disappointment which seem to be part of this challenging task.
|Old Beehives behind Brightwell Church|
|Ancient Beehives in Old Hollow Trunks|
|Bee Bole at The Temple, Newsam Estate, Leeds|
|What started out as 3 and became 6 in our garden|
And this incredible book Les Cueilleurs de Miel, which displays the most amazing pictures of beekeepers around the world . Their technique and their attire (or lack of) are astounding...
|The fibre from the bark of the local Gete tree, provides some protection against vicious bee stings, its' sap acting as a bee repellent.|
|Closer to home and with more domesticated bees voici... Le miel de Paris.|
The benefits of honey are endless: It acts as an antiseptic, an antioxidant, has great cleansing properties for body and health. It is easily digested, has no cholesterol and is low in calories. It is the only natural sweetener with healing effects. It also prevents fatigue and can help cure a cold...and so much more.
The best way to start off your day therefore is to include these simple steps into your morning routine:-
Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a glass of warm water BEFORE BREAKFAST and your body will thank you !
All that being said and done, and with my humble abode still flowerless... I couldn't be happier when my better half walked through the door.
I promptly told him of the major disruptive element in the garden and could he pleeaaassse do something about it...
Being the wonderful man that he is (and also worried that his bees had swarmed and could defininitely be lost for good were they to abandon the tree for a more exotic destination) ; he quickly geared up and headed for the garden.
|The defiant buzzing rebels being taken care of and put right back where they belong. Hopefully, now they know Who's Boss...|
Peonies were finally gathered and now grace my home with their abundance and beauty -My Peony lust satisfied - Enfin ! (Just like the end of this post...right??)
|Definitely worth the wait...|
Ahh... T'is a good deed done ! Merci Chéri...
|my knight in shining |
I bid you Bee Bee...I mean... Bye Bye for now...
|I may have had one Bee's Knees too many....|
Credits:- Wikipedia, Pinterest, monstertree.com, cold-glass.com, one mom's musings.com, even nail designs.com, fashiontwists.com, geography.org, whale.to, etsy.com, webecoist.com, calicocorners.com, marinbeecompany.com, life.com, 25.media.tumblr.com, ornamentedbeing.tumblr.com, westelm.com, metmuseum.org, treehugger.com, eye-shadowlipstick.com, marthastewart.com, maria-antonia.justgoo.com, dreamstime.com, pulseatpink.wordpress.com, clarkraedesign.com