Learning about Beekeeping

hornets and honeybees

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hornets on parsley

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beautiful hornets – a deep metallic blue, so shimmery and sleek. Very sexy insects. Unfortunately they’re all over my sister’s garden, so they will have to be taken care of at some point. My two little nephews don’t need to be stung by these gorgeous pollinators! Here you see them on the parsley flowers, doing their part to ensure that my brother-in-law has viable parsley seeds for next year’s crop.

I also ran into some honeybees while we were away visiting family:

honeybee

I’m not sure if this is a wild one or if it’s from a domesticated hive, but I saw it out on a trail when we went for a bike ride. Definitely a honeybee! It’s good to see them – it’s getting more and more rare to see them these days. Fortunately they’re not the only ones able to pollinate flowers: the hornets above, and the solitary bees like mason bees and leaf cutter bees, are also able to do the job, along with hummingbirds and butterflies (and others). Honeybees have the advantage of sheer numbers and determination, as they are the only kind that are trying to bank a surplus of food for the winter, but it’s nice to know that we’re not depending on them alone. Because that’s a scary thought, given the decline in numbers these past few years.

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