Thursday, June 2, 2011

All the Buzz in Denmark!

As if it weren't enough that this forward-thinking city features some of the most extensive and progressively-designed bike lanes in the world, in May, Copenhagen became host to 3 million honeybees. It's not the first urban setting to officially incorporate my favorite pollinators into its long-term plan to keep its green spaces, well, green - Paris, London and Chicago already boast similar programs; but it may be the first public works project that seeks to boost the skills of various "unempowered" social groups by teaching them to harvest honey. You can read the full, fascinating article here.

Meanwhile, in the suburbs of Copenhagen, my dear friend Noreen O'Sullivan Krogsgaard reports that her five-year-old daughter, Oona, and other members of her preschool skovbørnehave (literally, "forest child garden," because the kids spend most of their day playing in the forest), have gone crazy for bees and The Honeybee Man. That's my kind of preschool!

Oona and friends reading The Honeybee Man

A Danish "forest child garden"
I've been learning so much about bees since the book was published. Recently, I discovered that, completely contradictory to all my assumptions about bees, solitary bees "comprise the vast majority of bee species throughout the world," according to Evelyn Fetridge, who did her master's research at Fordham University on the topic. Explains Fetridge, "A single female bee constructs her own nest, lays her own eggs in it, and provisions the larvae with food. There's no queen and no workers. Often multiple solitary bees will build nests near one another, but they don't help each other with the labor involved with reproducing, and again, each one lays her own eggs." 

Have any amazing bee facts or stories of your own to share? Please send them in!

No comments: