Monday, May 12, 2008

Blossoms and Bees

I just wanted to share with all of you that beautiful tree along side my garage that bloomed more than last year. There are so many blossoms on it and the aroma that comes off it is spectacular.

Below is a closer shot of some blossoms off of this tree. Such great detail in the flowers. (All pics are clickable).
This one below is off of a little crab apple tree in my back yard. The tree is not very big, but it was fun taking these pictures.
You know the tree in the first picture? Well, as I was taking some shots of it, I heard a noise. There was a lot of buzzing going on. I am not sure how many bees were in there, but it sure was noisy.
The bees sure are a fascinating creature. Without them we would not have the pollination that we need to keep everything growing.
Hope you all enjoyed the pictures that I have added. I thought they were kinda cool. I can't wait till I go to Maine and then I can take some pictures there. Never been there so it will be fun to see what I come up with. We will be going in June. Yippppppppeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Honeybees (or hive bees) are in the animalia kingdom, the arthropoda phylum, the insecta class, the hymenoptera order and the apoidea family. Beekeepers are sometimes called apiarists. Honeybees and bumblebees (apidae subfamily) are social bees and live in colonies. Solitary bees make their own small family nests.

There are 10,0000 - 20,000 species of bee including many wasplike and flylike bees. Most bees are small from 2 mm (.08 inches) long to 4 cm (1.6 inches) long. Bees and wasps are closely related. The main difference is that bees provide their young with pollen and honey, while wasps eat animal food, insects, or spiders. In addition, wasps have unbranched hairs.

Honeybees live in hives or colonies. A small hive contains about 20,000 bees, while some larger hives may have over 100,000 bees. Hives include one queen, hundreds of drones, and thousands of worker bees. The worker bees are female, but they do not breed. The queen bee is female and creates all the babies for the hive. The drone bees are male and do not have stingers.

Bees communicate with each other about food sources using dances. The sounds from the movement of the bees is picked up by the tiny hairs on the bee's head. Bees use the sun in navigation.

The honeybee's hive has cells made of wax. This is where the queen bee lays her eggs. She can lay 1500 eggs in one day. When the larvae hatch, they are fed by the worker bees. The workers collect pollen and nectar from flowers. The pollen is used as a protein source and the nectar is an energy source. Some of the pollen lands on the pistils of the flower and results in cross-pollination. This is important for some crops and flowers. The relationship between the plant and the insect is called symbiosis.

Bees turn the nectar into honey. Workers must visit over four thousand flowers to make just a tablespoon of honey. Beekeepers must be very careful when they remove honey from the hive. They try not to hurt the bees. The beekeepers give sugar syrup to the bees to replace the honey that they take.

The "killer bee" is actually a type of African honeybee. In 1957, it was accidentally released in Brazil during a science experiment. It began to move north and reached Mexico in the 1980s. It can now be found in the southwestern US. These bees react very quickly, attack in large numbers, and swarm for long periods of time.


Mari said...

Those are beautiful pictures Shelly! Ours isn't quite at that stage yet, but soon.

Rebekah said...

So bright and cheery. Thanks

I planted a crab apple last year. I hear I have to wait a couple years to see it in full bloom

Thanks for stopping by. I love your blog title.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Cool Pictures! I love the close up of the Bee! Where in Maine are you going? We went there 3 years ago! It is a gorgeous state!

Cheri said...

That is a beautiful tree- I have always loved those trees.
We went to Maine for our honeymoom- I loved it there!

Nancy said...

The flowering trees are so full and beautiful this year, love the pictures, & thanks for the education on the bees. Are you a teacher??? LOL

Anonymous said...

Beautiful trees!! I am getting ready to post my flowering crab apple also. I wish they would last longer than a week or so. Yeah TONS of bee's.

The Sisters said...

Those are beautiful pictures!
Thanks for the comment you left on our blog..Have a great day!

Cheri said...

I did the tulip photo with GIMP. It's a free download you can get online.

Melissa said...

Beautiful pictures!!!
I have the three clocks on 3 different time zones. One is Michigan, the other Spain, and the other is Romania. :)

Lisa said...

The trees are just beautiful. I know the smell must be wonderful.
I enjoyed all your pictures. Have a great weekend. Lisa