Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The bee's knees

I've heard that some people are allergic to bee stings. Now, I've never been stung by a bee (yet) & have no idea what it would feel like or if I would be allergic. You never really know until you've received your first sting. I may have come close to it though. I remember a particular incident with bees while I was in my teens, living in Dubai. Our third & final residence was a third floor apartment with an extra long balcony, that probably stretched about 40 feet in length. A few years into our residence, we started to notice bees hovering outside our windows. About one or two everyday, but their appearances were consistent. We could not explain it. Until that is, we (my father & I) decided to spring clean the corner of our balcony. Stacked behind an old bicycle, some boxes (and other things I cannot seem to recall), we were amazed to find a bee hive. And now we knew why we alone were privy to the appearance of bees. Unfortunately, we had to get rid of the bees, by a process of which I will not & cannot go into. I felt guilty enough getting rid of the bees. My father was adamant we get rid of them now that there would be nothing for them to hide behind. In the moments to follow, I was an accessory to murder, more like an annihilation. You may think I'm being a tad dramatic, but you'll see. To make matters worse, once we got rid of those bees, we were left with their life's work - HONEY!

There are a couple of interesting facts about honey. The first: babies under the age of two should NOT be given honey (among strawberries & peanut butter), due to its allergy causing factor. The second: its lack of an expiration date. That's right. If stored correctly, honey does not spoil & can last forever. I recently read that a discovery of an Egyptian tomb in a pyramid, also yielded within the tomb, a container of honey. Pyramids are known to be thousands of years old & the honey found in that pyramid was no exception. Of course, it was put to the test & amazingly, it tasted like a batch of honey that was extracted yesterday. A two thousand year old jar of honey??? You need a moment to digest that fact? Go ahead. I sure did.

Too often we look at buzzing bees with annoyance. Much too ready to kill them off before
there's a chance they'd sting someone, not much thought is given to their importance & how vital they are. Of course, you're thinking the only thing they are good for is honey. That's what I thought too, until I watched a shot local documentary last night, on a new Bermudian channel - CITV (I promise to do a post on this at a late date). However, in the meantime, in short, CITV provides information on Bermuda & anything Bermudian. Mini documentaries are just one part of it. Last night it had an excerpt about Bermuda's bees, its beekeeper & the island's honey production. More importantly, it sadly stated that this year's honey production (harvested twice a year) was at its all time low. Add to that, there was also the finding that something is killing off bees & this something is not limited just to Bermuda. I had heard earlier on in the year that bees in other parts of the world are also dwindling in numbers, dropping like flies. Scientists are not sure why. The documentary further went on to say that bees are vital to our survival. Most of our produce (vegetables & fruits) is only possible with the presence of bees & the byproduct of their honey production which is pollination. If the bees were to disappear, we can kiss our vegetables, fruits & flowers goodbye. For first come the flowers & then the fruit & the completion of a flower's life cycle is only possible with pollination. Can you imagine a world without flowers, fruits and/ or vegetables? What on earth would we do? How on earth would the Vegans survive? Perhaps, honey may be the only thing we may have left. And thankfully, it does not expire. How ironic! I can tell you this. I feel terribly guilty, guilty for killing those bees, those years ago. The neglect of our planet, our wanton ways, our misuse of earth's precious resources, our pollution, is all finally, finally catching up with us. It's horrifying to think that the earth as we know it may not be around in about 50 years, at the rate we're going. Heck, I'd settle for 20 years right about now. The bees are just one chapter of this ongoing ecological damage, damage that may be irreversible. Who knows what's next?

Maybe we should start with the bees. SAVE THE BEES, SAVE THE WORLD (Yes, I watch Heroes, thank you). So, the next time you see a bee, what are you going to do? Please for the love of... don't kill it. There will be one less. Dangerously one less. The picture in this post is of Bermuda bees, hard at work (one on a flowering Cacti, the other on a Banana tree flower). How oh, how could we have been so careless?! And what are we doing specifically that's killing off them bees?

4 comments:

bermudabluez said...

It IS sad about the bees. OHHHHHH...how I miss those beautiful Bermuda flowers! Thanks for sharing your pics!

Roshani said...

Beef... that’s what’s for dinner! J/K. Seriously, I have never thought about bees in such away. I know they help with the pollination, but I never saw them as essential to the survival of the human race. Don't worry, I'm not one for kill them and risk getting stung. Instead I just run away from them.

FYI, infants under one should not be fed honey or peanut butter or anything that can be deemed as allergenic. After they turn one such foods can be introduced with caution.

Tom said...

Legend has it that the great Mother Bee was in Dubai some years ago and was having a vacation on a balcony.........

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

BB, Stay tuned for a slide show on Bda's flowers.

Roshani, Thanks for the info.

Tom, Oh please, say it ain't true. Do not torture me so...