Bees ... PLEASE.

I've been a plant-based eater for a long time now, and I continue to consume research and refine my choices based on what I read, believe, and feel as I move through life. But one think I feel right now in my heart to be true--and I honestly don't expect to change--is that we need to do something about the bee situation, already.

Bees are essential to, well, EVERYTHING. They pollinate fruits, vegetables, grains ... you name it. And if you choose to eat meat, those animals eat those plants. So you can see how the demise of our pollinator friends would lead to the demise of ... a lot of stuff. :/

Our Vermont neighbors (who happen to be hobby beekeepers) invited us over one recent evening to watch them inspect their hives in preparation for dropping temperatures. We were fascinated by the smooth, slow, way they moved among the boxes, talking so evenly and methodically that they lulled us into a comfortable state. It's no wonder the bees didn't feel the urge the get aggressive!

I hope to be able to continue to learn more about our winged friends over the coming months as we continue our research in preparation of getting our own hives in the spring. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few things that have impressed me so far about these amazing creatures ...

  • Most obviously they work together as a community, unified to reach a common goal. Every action each bee undertakes is for the good of the hive as a whole. What a novel concept ;)
  • Each type of bee (worker, drone and queen) has a very specific role in the hive. If everyone does their job, the hive thrives (sorry, couldn't help that :P )
  • Bees use a powerful natural antibacterial resin called propolis to help sterilize the hive environment and prevent bacteria, mold and disease. No chemicals needed here!
  • The color of the honey produced varies based on the type of flowers the bees have visited. Seems like humans aren't the only ones whose past experiences are reflected in the results of current actions.

Really, so much about bees seems painfully simple. I'm pretty sure we could learn a few things about ourselves--and each other-- if we just paid closer attention to these little guys instead of swatting them away. 

Charis shows us capped and uncapped honey cells