The Cleansing Flight of Bees

Did you know in the winter that bees venture outside the hive to take a "cleansing flight" where they release bee poo all over fresh fallen snow? I didn't either.  But now that I know, I'm thinking of having some sort of bumper sticker made.

I'm all about bees these days. A character in the middle-grade novel I'm working on is a 11-year-old girl who keeps bees. It didn't long for me to realize I know little to nothing about bees other than, "they're yellow-ish" and "they sting." I ordered some books about bees from Amazon and am fascinated by what I'm finding. A few quick facts:

  • A queen bee can lay 2000 eggs a day
  • Even if fed and given shelter, a bee will die if isolated. 
  • You can tell a bee's age by the condition of the wings
  • If a bee can't be an asset to the colony she is expected to kill herself or be kicked out / killed by other bees.

I have to admit that while reading about bees I'm thinking, "Hm. Wonder if we should keep bees?" The fact is though, I'm terrified of them. I've never been stung and have mentally worked that possibility into being along the same catacylsmic line of "rattlesnake bite" or "thermo-nuclear war." 

I'm off to read more now. There's a whole world of cleansing flight information just waiting to be discovered.