Today is National Honeybee Day. I think that is pretty spectacular, that we have a day to celebrate this community of industrious girls who work to support their Queen (albeit, this is a community with not many job discriptions or titles). These girls are going far afield for nectar, filling their saddlebags with goods, and then bringing it back to the community while on the way, waving on the sisterhood to good places to gather more food, to ease their challenge of new fields and new destinations. Single minded determination, single minded collaboration. One cannot exist without the other. One cannot exist without each other. These bees work hard...and really do not play but exist to keep the community going, moving, steady, comfortable. Perhaps instead of happiness, there is contentment in keeping the hive stable and keeping the poor exhausted Queen in food and place to keep spawning the next generation of bees.
Think of the winters here. The bees (when they do survive) eat down their reserves of honey--feeding on quick calories to keep them swarming in the hive--surrounding their Queen, generating enough heat to keep the cold somewhat at bay, and to get through this hard season devoid of flowers, of pollen, of nectar, of living life. My god....look at how hot they keep the hive. Think of the energy needed to keep the Queen warm enough to resume laying...Wikipedia takes my clueless understanding and takes it to a lovely process:"
From Wikipdedia: Winter survival
In cold climates, honey bees stop flying when the temperature drops below about 10 °C (50 °F) and crowd into the central area of the hive to form a "winter cluster". The worker bees huddle around the queen bee at the center of the cluster, shivering to keep the center between 27 °C (81 °F) at the start of winter (during the broodless period) and 34 °C (93 °F) once the queen resumes laying. The worker bees rotate through the cluster from the outside to the inside so that no bee gets too cold. The outside edges of the cluster stay at about 8–9 °C (46–48 °F). The colder the weather is outside, the more compact the cluster becomes. During winter, they consume their stored honey to produce body heat. The amount of honey consumed during the winter is a function of winter length and severity, but ranges in temperate climates from 15 to 50 kg (30 to 100 pounds).
Bees are symbolic of resurrection and immortality. They have been used on heraldic crests or to represent aspects of a religion or faith. Take the beehive and bee as it relates to the Mormons, the Quintessential American religion>> see here>>
So, there is something to think about at the crest of this time of fruitful harvests, glorious sun and rain, and days to buzz, collect pollen and prepare for more difficult times ahead.