The Bee's Knees–Facts about Bee Swarms
by Joanna Campbell Slan
I couldn’t let my “bee encounter” buzz by without doing a wee bee research activity. Here’s what I learned:
- The bees that are dying are domestic honeybees, commercially raised. The colonies are collapsing.
- African bees are mating with wild honeybees, creating a more aggressive strain.
- By looking at them, a bee expert can’t tell the difference between African bees and native wild bees.
- A nest that’s bred with African bees might be docile one minute and aggressive the next.
- Bees don’t move much or fly much when it’s rainy. Heat will stir them up.
- African bees don’t like cold weather, so the problem is confined to the southern states.
- The USDA has told licensed bee companies NOT to move wild nests because they might have African bees in them and that would pose a public safety hazard. Unfortunately these nests should be eradicated.
- Bees rest from five to seven days after swarming.
- The phrase “the bee’s knees” might have started with the phrase “the be-all and end-all,” but when it was repeated quickly, the new phrase was born. So it isn’t really about bees, but about “B’s.” It means “something fantastic.”
- But the first official appearance was in 1907, in a book called Mr. Goggles by Henry Collins Brown: “Bee-raising is a good side line for the farmer, especially since the swell restaurants have made a specialty of fried bees’ knees. Such a beesness!”
- The Brits seem to write it thusly: bees’ knees.
- And the phrase also became a fad during the Roaring Twenties, when people crowed about, “The bee’s knees!” This slang phrase deserves a revival, don’t you think?
|That’s me, flying off to do my own thing.|
Hmmm. I think I need to write a story about these bees. What do you think?
Oh, and if I have any of this wrong, please bee nice and let me bee correct.