Help the Bees, Please

Join Us on Friday for “PolliNation”

We hope you can help us celebrate at the gala opening for “PolliNation,” an educational, entertaining, and thought-provoking show about the importance of the honeybee to the world’s agricultural systems. Last week we told you about the details of the show, which is one of two art exhibits that are part of Bee City USA’s Pollinator week. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Opening reception: Friday, June 13, from 6 to 9 pm
  • Portion of the proceeds benefit: Bee City USA
  • Show runs: June 13 through November 1

We promised to give you some fun facts about bees, and here they are. But we also included some not-so-fun facts so you can understand the problems facing this critical species:

* Honeybees and flowering plants evolved simultaneously, about 100 million years ago

* Plants produce nectar so bees or other creatures will pollinate them, perpetuating their species

* Modern beekeeping began in the late 1800s, when moveable boxes were developed

* Almost 1/3 of our diet comes from plants pollinated by insects; the honeybee accounts for 80% of that total

* Honeybees are social insects that depend on swarming to reproduce and perpetuate their species

* Because honeybees are social insects, they raise their young communally

* Honeybees have “baskets” on their back legs where they gather pollen

* Honeybees live only about six weeks in the summer, spending the last three weeks as pollinators

* 50,000 honeybee hives are needed to produce Maine’s blueberries every year

* Honeybees visit 33 million flowers and fly 150,000 miles to collectively produce one pound of beeswax

* Honeybees can’t fly in the rain

* Honeybees populations are primarily female worker bees, as male drones die shortly after mating with the queen

* Honeybees contribute about $15 billion to U.S. agriculture by pollinating crops

* Pesticides are estimated to result in yearly losses of more than $14 million due to bee poisonings

* Wild bees have basically disappeared in the United States

* Honeybee queens lay about 1500 eggs each and every day

* Virtually all flowering plants need some sort of pollinator to reproduce

* Honeybees have declined by more than 50% since the introduction of widespread pesticide use in the 1950s; mites, famine, disease, and the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder have speeded this decline

Can the honeybee be saved? Yes! Please join us on Friday to find out how you can help. Thank you for your support.

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