feature image via Earth Touch News, “The Many Faces of Bees.”
I’ve been dreaming of bees lately.
One night not long ago, I turned to my girlfriend in bed and said, “When we grow up, we’re gonna live on a farm and raise bees together.” She smiled indulgently, stroked my hair, and told me to go back to sleep. In the morning, she reminded me that a) we’re already grown up, and b) we’re both city girls. But she didn’t give me a hard “no” on the beekeeping, so I’m going to go ahead and interpret that as a “maybe/probably yes!” When Riese starts her radical separatist homestead in the Midwest, we’ll be right there with our beekeeping suits on.
Outside of my dreams, the media has been absolutely abuzz with bee news lately! Bees have been making headlines for their unfortunate love of nicotine. Recently, Wired ran a piece on how we’re all worrying about the wrong bees, and the Spectator ran a thinkpiece on how bees are better at democracy than people. In Seattle, millions of bees (somewhere between 14 and 22 million) recently spilled on the interstate, to great devastation and the dismay of the Oregon wine industry. Elsewhere in the country, hundreds of millions of honeybees are making their way to New Jersey to pollinate the nation’s blueberries and cucumbers. In New York, the police department’s now-retired-one-man bee-containment unit has come forward saying he was falsely accused of stealing and selling bees. And in DC, environmental advocates recently gathered at the White House garden to urge Michelle Obama and her husband to protect the bees.
Although our life together in a separatist commune may not exist yet, I’ve collected eight excellent videos about bees that all of us dreamers can all watch right this very minute. Enjoy.
1. TED Talk: Marla Spivak On Why Bees Are Disappearing
Maybe you’ve already seen this one? If not, you should watch it because it gives a very interesting overview on the importance of bees! Also: did you know that tomato growers often pollinate their tomato flowers with a handheld vibrator?
2. “Burt” Talks To A “Bee”
Here’s a weirdo video for you explaining how queen bees reproduce.
3. Queen Bee Dance
Spoiler: around the seven minute mark, the woman with 12,000 honey bees on her chest has a tea party.
If you’re wondering how she gets the bees off, there’s a video about that too.
4. Urban Beekeeping In London
5. Intimate, Embodied Bee Experiences
Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut, co-authors of Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and Power of the Bee, discuss some of the surprising things they found out about bees and urban beekeeping via their research.
6. Women Beekeepers In Ethiopia
“I admire her diligence and hard work. What she does is even unthinkable for a lot of men,” says Tenaye Enos’s husband. Tenaye is an entrepreneur in Masha, Ethiopia, who began a beekeeping business in 2005.
7. Honey On Tap
8. Julia’s Pet Bee
This cute kid rescued a carpenter bee, and is clearly 1000x better at keeping things alive than I am.