Monday, June 21, 2010

Bumble Bees

The more I look at the words 'bumble bee' and say it to myself, the funnier it looks and sounds.  I wonder how a bumble bee got it's name.  Because it's so big and awkward, it 'bumbles' around?

Actually, one of the definitions of 'bumble' is to make a humming or droning sound; to buzz.  There is certainly no mistaking when a bumble bee is in the vicinity.

Bumble bees are large, hairy bees that are usually black and yellow with clear wings with black veins. The hind legs of female bumble bees have a wide, cupped area for collecting pollen.

Bumble bees do not have a barbed sting — so they can sting several times if threatened. Yet, not all bumble bees have a stinger. Male bumble bees, called drones, have no stinger at all. 
Bees see in ultraviolet light, so they are attracted to different hues. For example, many studies have shown that the bumble bee is strongly attracted to violet and blue flowers, but they will visit other colored blossoms.

Bumble bee hives are usually found underground in abandoned rodent burrows and are lined with the bees’ secreted wax.

Bumble bees are active in all kinds of weather and are often the first bee out in early spring and last in the fall. They can visit 10 to 18 flowers in a minute.

They are not big honey producers, but create just enough honey to allow the colony to survive through times of food shortage. Their colonies are seasonal and die out when winter comes, with only the queens surviving to spring.

Bumble bees have quite the appeal to artists and crafters alike.  Here is a Scissor's Keeper that I made for Early Bird Christmas Crafting. 

I found the pattern in the book Sew Necessary by Art to Heart

Sew Necessary by Art to Heart

This book is filled with many clever ideas for making your sewing experience more fun!
I admit that I had difficulty following the directions,
but was always delighted with my finished products!


Abby and Stephanie said...

Bee things are cute but I steer clear of real life bees.

Kay Baughman said...

another fascinating post, Karen! I'm especially intrigued by the eyesight of bees (and butterflies as well) which allows them to see colors in the flowers that we cannot. Can you imagine how even more beautiful nature is if you can see all the colors?
I'm still procrastinating on those Christmas crafts, but it really is good weather to stay inside and sew instead of going out in the heat and humidity. You inspire me.

KaHolly said...

Stephanie, the bees probably like that about you!!

Kay, Thanks for the sweet comment.

Carrie P. said...

I learned something new again from your blog.
I always wondered where they made their hives and now I know. One question: are they native to the Americas? I am pretty sure honey bees were brought over from Europe.
Such a sweet scissor case. I have seen that book on some other blogs but have not seen it in person. Looks like it has some great stuff to make.

DeniseinVA said...

Lovely pics, and I enjoyed learning a little more about the bumble bee. Great info, thanks!

Thanks also for stopping by. Enjoy your week :)

An English Girl Rambles

DeniseinVA said...

p.s. almost missed the cute little bee ornament. That's so cute and realized after a while it had a pair of scissors in it! Excuse me for being a tad slow on the uptake. I haven't had any coffee yet, trying to give up the caffeine and I can really TELL! :))

Anonymous said...

I love people who are crafty as I am not..that is so cute and great info on our important bee friends...Michelle

walk2write said...

Isn't it funny that the male bumbles have no stinger and that the females have to do all of the heavy lifting (carrying pollen)? One of nature's little gender jokes, I guess.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: Love your bee captures and your handmade one is cute.

Di said...

Love your work, with both needle and camera!

Niesz Vintage Home said...

Beautiful pictures!
We have lots of Bumble bees, but I'd like to see a few more honey bees around here.

And I just love your scissor keeper! So cute!


Unknown said...

Love your scissor keeper , so cute ! said...

That is a beautiful place to keep one's scissors. You're so talented!
& I've always loved bees,
I find them really quite pretty to look at.

Its Time to Live said...

I must admit that I learned a log visiting your blog today, thanks.

Audrey said...

Great photo's! We don't have a lot of bees here, maybe because I don't have many flowers :)
As for empty nest syndrome - I'm quite looking forward to it! LOL

Barb said...

Funny that you should give so many interesting facts about the Bumble Bee. My 7 year old Granddaughter was just asking about them, and we looked them up on Google. She was especially interested to discover that all die over the winter except the Queen! Here at high altitude, we don't seem to have many even in the summer.

EG CameraGirl said...

Very interesting. I didn't know male bumble bees cannot sting but I imagine most of the bumble bees I see are females - I bet like other bees, the females are the workers. Hmmm. I should check that out!

Kim D. said...

I love the art to heart books, your scissors keeper is adorable. Great job!!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I have wondered about this book of patterns, looks really cute for quick gifts. What did you find difficult in the pattern instructions? There are a few designers that 'turn my head' with their insturctions so I don't use their patterns - and I am sure some people struggle with my own design instructions! ;-)

manda said...

I love bees...from a distance. I'm allergic to the sting! That first photo would make a gorgeous card! I just love the scissor keep too, so lovely!

Dog-Walker said...

I don't like bees, because they sting, but I did have to collect bees for the Insect Study Merit badge. Besides bees, they're could be Honey as food. And speaking of food, I put up a new post on something delicious you love to see. Thanks for letting me stop by.