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The Future of Our Bees – Part 1 of 5

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Back in June 2015 the campaign group 38 Degrees held an event in Westminster to “arm our MPs with everything they need to know about bees and bee-killing pesticides.”  That was over 2 years ago but bees and pesticides are very much still big news with further headlines hitting social media recently.  It’s heartening to see that Michael Gove is backing a total ban on these chemicals, as reported in the Guardian on Thursday 9 November 2017:

UK will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides, Michael Gove reveals

So why is this so important?

Bees are amazing creatures.  They play a very important role in the pollination of many of the plants that we depend on for food but in recent years their numbers have been declining rapidly.  I will focus on the honey bee here and look at some of the issues that it has been facing, and steps that are being taken to try to support it.

A year in the life of a honey bee colony

Each colony is ruled by a single queen.  She starts laying eggs in early spring and the old worker bees, who hatched in the previous autumn, make sure that the colony is viable and start bringing in pollen from snowdrops and other spring flowers.  These early blossoms are therefore important to the bees.  They provide a source of food as the bees become active again after the winter.

The queen starts by laying female eggs (fertilised with stored sperm) and then she will lay some male (unfertilised) eggs as well.  She can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day.  The colony continues to grow and can reach up to 50,000 – 80,000 worker bees (females) and a few hundred drones (males) by June.  (The worker bees live for about 3 weeks, the queen for about 3 years and the drones for about 3-4 months.)

When temperatures reach 12oC or above the worker bees go out to collect nectar to make honey, and pollen to feed to the developing grubs.  Normally they will forage up to 5km from the hive.  When a worker finds a new source of nectar she brings some back to the colony and passes it to some of the other bees.  They gather round her and she does a ‘waggle dance’ which gives them information about where to find the nectar.  She goes round in a horseshoe pattern then bisects this at an angle.    The number of times she goes round the horseshoe is the distance to the nectar source and the angle indicates the sun’s position.  (She has 5 eyes, one of which can see polarised light, so she knows the position of the sun even when it is cloudy.)

In Part 2 I’ll describe what happens when the colony increases in number and becomes too big for their hive.

 

(This is an extract from my article which you can read in full here)

 

 

My journey into working in the field of Wellbeing began when I joined an online course in Evolutionary Enlightenment.  This caused me to take a hard look at my life – my career, my direction, my purpose – and question whether or not it was really right for me.  The answer was No.  I was lost, struggling and unhappy.

Searching for something that would resonate for me and that would support my need to grow, I started learning Reiki which, in a roundabout way, led me back to one of my passions: animals.  Horses in particular hold a very special place in my heart.  I love supporting owners to explore their horse’s physical and emotional needs.

I went on to study Energy Healing, Emotional Freedom Techniques and META-Health because I also love supporting other women who are experiencing similar experiences of stress and overwhelm.  I love holding a safe space where they can discover that they have always had choices and the power to make their own decisions.

Website

email: robyn@equenergy.com

mobile:  07980 669303

Skype:  by appointment only to ensure that I am in the office and available to take your call.  Please contact me to arrange a date and time

 

 

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