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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bumblebees

This summer my husband and I have been learning more about bumblebees.  A nest underneath our front step means that when we sit there, we can observe their noiseless take offs.  We can also watch their deft landings, which are accompanied by a glimpse of the load of yellow pollen on hind legs.
   We cannot actually see the nest, but judging by the amount of activity during the day time, it is a full-size colony of at least 50 bees.[1]  Our front garden, adjacent to our front step, contains a few vegetable plants, but the plant nearest the step is producing the most beans.  We wonder if we should thank our fuzzy boarders for that.  Although bumblebees collect nectar and pollen and thus contribute to pollination of crops, they make only enough honey to feed their young.  Unlike honeybees, bumblebee hives do not survive the winter but start over again each spring with a queen that has hibernated on her own.
   Taking the time to closely observe the little creatures of our world can help us grow in appreciation for their Designer.  Basil the Great (330-379), who was a church bishop in Caesarea is quoted as having said, "If you speak of a fly, a gnat, or a bee, your conversation will be a sort of demonstration of His power whose hand formed them; for the wisdom of the workman is commonly perceived in that which is of little size." 



[1] According to www.kentbee.com, it is rare for a colony to grow beyond 70 individuals

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