March 21st, 2012
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” There is a real debate about who actually made this remark, but it is often attributed to Albert Einstein. Perhaps this may be an extreme statement, but it emphasizes the importance of this small insect.
I grew up in Cecil County with my siblings and we had a big, big yard, not a lawn. A yard covered with little white clover blossoms that honey bees just loved. Every summer, our barefoot selves would be stung two or three times. I always felt bad because I knew the bee died – my mom always told us that when she pulled out the stinger and covered it with baking soda paste. I moved back to our home several years ago and we still have that big, big yard, not a lawn! But, I hardly ever see those bees anymore and the clover just doesn’t seem as robust. Why is that? There’s been buzz in the media about bees disappearing, but what does it all mean?
On Thursday, March 29th, we’re hosting a Science Cafe to answer many of these questions. Katherine Darger, a Master’s candidate from the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, will discuss the importance of bees in your garden. She’ll cover identifying and attracting them, and when to be afraid and when not to. Although the topic doesn’t encompass the world, our gardens and yards are microcosms of the big picture. The ecological health of our gardens and our pollinators are indicators of the importance of bees in agriculture and world economics.
Whether you love bees or are terrified of them, they are critical to our world. And, besides, who doesn’t enjoy that bit of honey in our tea or on a slice of warm homemade bread!!!
Have questions about bees? Share them here or join us Thursday night to learn more about these fascinating creatures and their role in our lives.