Hang A Bee On Your Tree!

A bee ornament is a natural addition to your Christmas tree. These ornaments range from the silly to the sublime! All are available online.

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bee ornament 1

bee 13

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bee 10

bee ornament 2

b 4

bee 11

bee 7

De_Carlini_Mr_bee_Italian_glass_Christmas_ornament_t

mrs. bee

And of course we can’t forget our Batty friends!

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This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

Reblogged from http://www.buzzfeed.com

Give them a chance, you guys. They just want to eat all the bugs and pollinate tequila plants.posted on October 23, 2013 at 1:13am EDT

Sara Bee

COMMUNITY MEMBER

Look at this bat. That’s a nice bat.

Look at this bat. That's a nice bat.

Nobody really likes these guys, though.

Nobody really likes these guys, though.

(Sorry, bat friends.)

Because people think bats are terrifying little sharp-toothed bundles of flying hate.

Because people think bats are terrifying little sharp-toothed bundles of flying hate.

And rabies.

But here’s the thing.

But here's the thing.

BATS ARE ADORABLE.

BATS ARE ADORABLE.

THEY JUST WANT TO BE LOVED.

THEY JUST WANT TO BE LOVED.

And give love in return.

And give love in return.

Poor, misunderstood bats. See this one?! It’s like a little hamster with wings! Oh my god!

Poor, misunderstood bats. See this one?! It's like a little hamster with wings! Oh my god!

And they’re big fans of watermelon!

And they're big fans of watermelon!

But wait. There’s more.

But wait. There's more.

Doesn’t this strangely kind of resemble…

Doesn't this strangely kind of resemble...

THIS?!?

THIS?!?

Answer: pretty much.

Answer: pretty much.

And not only are they the cutest. Oh, no. Bats are wonderfully useful creatures to have around.

And not only are they the cutest. Oh, no. Bats are wonderfully useful creatures to have around.

Someday, this guy will be able to eat 600 mosquitoes in an hour. This is a mosquito-killing MACHINE.

Someday, this guy will be able to eat 600 mosquitoes in an hour. This is a mosquito-killing MACHINE.

Say these people here.

(Don’t pretend like mosquitoes aren’t the worst.)

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

And if it weren’t for bats, we might have fewer bananas, mangoes, almonds, peaches…

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

and TEQUILA.

and TEQUILA.

These people say that bats pollinate a bunch of different plants and/or spread their seeds. Seed production of the agave plants used to make tequila drops to 1/3000th of normal without bats to pollinate them.

I mean, don’t get me wrong.

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

THEY ARE THE NIGHT.

THEY ARE THE NIGHT.

But also friends.

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

Squeaky-clean friends.

Squeaky-clean friends.

(Apparently, bats groom themselves like cats.)

Which makes it sort of less awful if one of them beelines it for your hair.

Which makes it sort of less awful if one of them beelines it for your hair.

The end.

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

Batty In Cincinnati

The bats are back!!  It’s been years since I’ve seen so many in the night skies !!

I first noticed the frisky flyers a few evenings ago. It’s been a wet summer, and mosquitoes, the bats’ favorite treat, are in abundance.

My next door neighbor was worried the bats were eating my bees, but I assured her that they prefer smaller and less prickly prey. If they eat a few bees, it’s no real loss.  And we could do with a LOT fewer mosquitoes!!

This is good news because bats (specifically the “Indiana bats”) are an endangered species in Ohio.

Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)

batty

The Indiana bat was listed as endangered in 1967 due to episodes of people disturbing hibernating bats in caves during winter, resulting in the death of large numbers of bats. Indiana bats are vulnerable to disturbance because they hibernate in large numbers in only a few caves (the largest hibernation caves support from 20,000 to 50,000 bats). Other threats that have contributed to the Indiana bat’s decline include commercialization of caves, loss of summer habitat, pesticides and other contaminants, and most recently, the disease white-nose syndrome.

Indiana bats are found over most of the eastern half of the United States. Almost half of them hibernate in caves in southern Indiana. The 2009 population estimate was about 387,000 Indiana bats, less than half as many as when the species was listed as endangered in 1967.

Indiana bats are quite small, weighing only one-quarter of an ounce (about the weight of three pennies) although in flight they have a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. Their fur is dark-brown to black. They hibernate during winter in caves or, occasionally, in abandoned mines. During summer they roost under the peeling bark of dead and dying trees. Indiana bats eat a variety of flying insects found along rivers or lakes and in uplands.

White nose syndrome (WNS) is an illness that has killed over a million bats since 2006 when dead and dying bats, with the distinctive “white nose,” were first observed. “White nose” refers to a ring of white fungus often seen on the faces and wings of affected bats. First observed in a cave in New York in February 2006, white-nose syndrome has spread from New York caves to caves in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,

So why should we care?

Bats are essential to the health of our natural world. They help control pests and are vital pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants. Yet these wonderfully diverse and beneficial creatures are among the least studied and most misunderstood of animals.

Centuries of myths and misinformation still generate needless fears and threaten bats and their habitats around the world. Bat populations are declining almost everywhere. Losing bats would have devastating consequences for natural ecosystems and human economies. Knowledge is the key. Bat Conservation International has been combining education, research and conservation to protect bats worldwide since 1982.

The more than 1,200 species of bats – about one-fifth of all mammal species – are incredibly diverse. They range from the world’s smallest mammal, the tiny bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny to giant flying foxes with six-foot wingspans. Except for the most extreme desert and polar regions, bats have lived in almost every habitat on Earth since the age of the dinosaurs.

Bats are primary predators of night-flying insects, including many of the most damaging agricultural pests and others that bedevil the rest of us. More than two-thirds of bat species hunt insects, and they have healthy appetites. A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour, while a pregnant or lactating female bat typically eats the equivalent of her entire body weight in insects each night.

Almost a third of the world’s bats feed on the fruit or nectar of plants. In return for their meals, these bats are vital pollinators of countless plants (many of great economic value) and essential seed dispersers with a major role in regenerating rainforests.

So, bats are the honey bees of the night. I’m celebrating their return to the Cincinnati skies!!

New English Garden Bee Plants – “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist” English Lavender

"Essence Purple" English Lavender

“Essence Purple” English Lavender

"Silver Mist" English Lavender

“Silver Mist” English Lavender

One of my favorite online plant purveyors, Wayside Gardens, has 61 new perennial cultivars this year, many of them bee favorites.

There are few, if any, flowers bees and other pollinators love better than English Lavender.  Wayside Gardens is offering two new English Lavenders this year, “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist”.

An English Lavender extraordinaire, ‘Essence Purple’ is the variety for those of us who can never have too much Lavender in garden and home. Bushier, better branched, and perhaps even more fragrant than others, it is simply heavenly in color, form, and scent. Find new places to tuck this magnificent plant in your sunny garden and patio this season!

One of the most beautiful of English Lavenders, ‘Silver Mist’ sets nearly white foliage with a soft, fuzzy aura that looks like clouds in the garden. The flowers are pure sky-blue and continue over an especially long season. Compact, well-branched, and marvelously fragrant in bloom and leaf, it’s a must-have for the sunny garden and fine containers.

Both Lavenders are evergreen in mild areas and deer-resistant.

An herb, Lavender is useful for everything from potpourri to Everlastings to air freshener. Cut branches to tuck into your linen closet, use the flowers to perfume tea and sweets, and admire the pollinators that are drawn to these plants all season long. Every garden needs at least one stand of Lavender!

Hedgehogs, Bats and Lightning Bugs

I just read a very funny post by Emily Heath at Adventuresinbeeland’s Blog about some of the more unusual search terms people used to find her  blog in 2012.

A few examples:

‘woodlice droppings’ – 16 times

Urgh. I have failed to find any photos of woodlice droppings on my blog to keep these people happy. My internet research suggests that woodlice droppings are about 1mm in width and look like black dust particles.

‘what do hives look like on adults’ – 6 times

Wrong type of hives.

‘what causes hives under the armpits’ – 2 times

Not bees.

‘honey dripping on body’ – 2 times

Think they wanted a different kind of blog!

‘jon and sarah pie and mash wedding’ – 1 time

Huh?

Inspired by Emily, I took a look at the search terms people used to find my blog in 2012.

What I realized was that my blog posts can be, well, a bit random. Not always about bees, gardening and cooking with honey.

For instance, I posted about hedgehogs.

hedgehog

I really like hedgehogs. Evidently, so do a lot of other people. Some of the terms used to find it:

hedgehogs

baby hedgehog

two hedgehogs

hedgehog pictures

hedgehog images

baby hedgehog pictures

adorable hedgehog

brown hedgehog

mini hedgehog

are hedgehogs soft

hedgehog names

sad hedgehog

young hedgehog

Almost as popular was my post about lightning bugs…

lightning bugs

lightning bugs

firefly insect

firefly bug

lightning bugs at night

pictures of lightning bugs

light bugs

lightning bugs in a jar

beautiful firefly

lightning bug images

how to make lightning bugs in a jar

lightning bugs in a mason jar

lightning bug season ohio

lighting insects

And then there were a few posts about bats and how cute they can be…

cute bats

cute bat

cute bat photos

bat stamps

cute bat pictures

But no Bee Blog would be complete without the Eternal Question…

is honey bee poop or vomit?

is honey made of bee poop?

NO!!   🙂