Impromptu science lesson on various bees…

This entry was posted by KK on Monday, 12 April, 2010 at

We don’t kill things here….like, not anything. Even bugs. We breed bugs for Pete’s sake (good kinds for feeding to our pets) so bugs are our friends here. We only recently began using actual store-bought ant killer when our sugar/borax solution wasn’t quite doing it for us anymore. So a huge dilemma we’ve had lately are the bees. We have an enormous back deck. It is like oddly huge almost like our previous owner was compensating for a lack of something. Every time we go out on the deck we are gravely annoyed by the bees. Today was no different when I decided that if we’re gonna finish school lessons this year it HAS to be outside in this gorgeous weather. So we packed up everything and set up camp on the picnic table and got to work. Within minutes came the distractions.

Hence the impromptu science lesson whereas science wasn’t even on the schedule for this day….another beauty of homeschooling.

Here’s the skinny on bees…

What are these huge bees that almost try to fly directly into our faces? Are they bumble bees? honey bees?

They are most likely carpenter bees but here’s how to be sure…

Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees, but the upper surface of their abdomen is bare and shiny black; bumble bees have a hairy abdomen with at least some yellow markings.

Male carpenter bees are quite aggressive, often hovering in front of people who are around the nests. The males are quite harmless, however, and since they lack stingers their aggressive behavior is merely for show or bluff. Female carpenter bees can inflict a painful sting but seldom will unless they are handled or molested. (yes, we’re still talkin’ ’bout bees here…)

Lesson learned: I love honey bees and know their population is dwindling away. It’s easy to identify these as they are much smaller than a carpenter bee or bumble bee but larger than a sweat bee. I also know bumble bees largely burrow in the ground. Bumble bees don’t store their honey in large enough quantities to make it practical for commercial purposes and they do a great deal of pollinating our beautiful plants and flowers so we leave those alone.
Carpenter bees…well…I’ll go ahead and admit that I just sent 4 to live with Jesus and am feeling no guilt whatsoever. Bottom line: My quick research has concluded that they are useless and when I am out trying to school my boys on our back deck while enjoying the sunshine and a bully male carpenter bee hovers in my face….Imma grab my badminton racket.

Share if you wanna:
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn

Leave a Reply