According to the urban dictionary; When the bees flit from flower to flower the nectar sticks to their legs. The phrase "Bees Knees" means sweet and good because the knees of the bee is where all the good stuff is. To be completely honest, as much as I have always loved honey, enjoyed bees visiting my garden and recited cute bed time stories to my 'Grandies', about Wilbur the bumble Bee. I really haven't given Bees enough thought or credit, on their contribution to our daily lives. Now is the time of year that we are busy (as a bee with a bum full of honey) planting our, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, eggplant but without our bee friends, our harvest would be so disappointing. Did you know that 1/3 of our fruit and vegetables are bee pollinated? And further more did you know that just 12 bees have to fly 10,000 kms for 3 weeks solid to produce just one teaspoon of honey for you? So it stands to reason that if we all grow just a few bee friendly plants and look after our own back yard (so to speak) it's our own small contribution to the greater issue, caring for our local bee population. Further more, giving the gift of bee friendly seeds is a unique way to share the bee love around. By doing a wee bit of research about a particular blue seed and attaching your own hand written information, it just makes that gift a wee bit more special. The easiest and most prolific to grow is Phacelia, its a gorgeous little flower, works fantastically as a nitrogen fixer in your soil (more about that another time) and it self seeds easily. Bergamot Bee balm is a wonderful bee friendly plant, with beautiful bright blue flowers that are edible, plus the plant has several other medicinal uses. The list is endless, however unless we are thinking about the favour we are doing both for ourselves and the bees, then we may overlook these easy to grow flowers. A few facts about bees to share with your friends:
- A bee has a brain the size of a pin head and can retain information on nectar and pollen for up to a week.
- A bee flies at approximately 24 k per hour.
- A bee can make 20 trips a day of 1 kilometre return.
- Honey is the only food to contain all the substances to sustain life.
- About 9-12 tonnes of honey is produced each year in New Zealand.
- There is heaps of information to be found online by searching NZ honey bee information.