Any time is a good time to write and give praise to that wonderful little creature—the bee. In connection with National Honey Week, observed in recent months, W. C. Johnson, beekeeping specialist of Clemson College, S. C, gives some bee-and-honey information that is valuable and inspiring.
In the springtime, sweet music is the bee's hum, heard as the bee searches the apple blossoms for nectar from which to make honey and for pollen with which to feed the young bees. Flying from blossom to blossom, the bee carries the precious pollen that insures a bountiful harvest of apples.
This same pollinating service of the honeybee is needed by watermelons, cucumbers, squash, cantaloupes, and many other vegetables. Without bees, the bee-keeping specialist says, the flowers would not be as beautiful nor the field crops as productive. Longer cotton fibers and greater cotton yields are products of the bee's endless industry.
The bee gets a lot out of clover—but she gives a lot back to clover! Johnson points out that most of the honey produced in the United States is from clover. In gathering nectar from the clover, the bee pollinates it so that we have plenty of luscious pastures. Good pastures mean more beef and more milk—thus we eat better because of the work of man's friend, the honeybee.
"We enjoy the fruit of the bee's labor in the clothes we wear, in the food we eat, and in the beauty we see," Mr. Johnson explains. "No wonder we say the story of bees and honey is pleasant as well as sweet. The pleasant labor of the bee enables us to live better even if we never taste its product—honey. When we partake of that sweetness, however, we are tasting the ultimate in what nature has provided for us. Truly honey is the sweetest story ever 'sold.'"
The bee is worth many times as much in pollinating plants as in making honey.
We are sorry that Mr. Johnson did not touch upon the bee organization. While we do not claim any first-hand knowledge regarding the bees, we have always heard that they had one of the strictest governments in the world. One of their laws, we have always heard, is that a bee that will not work is killed. Their vagrancy law has teeth in it. In one respect, they are not dissimilar to humans—the queen bee rules the roost.
Texas Tech. School is in Lubbock, Texas. J. M. Spain of Olton, Pete Dowell of Wichita Falls, Cecil Green of Bridgeport, and James W. Taylor of Littlefield were students there.
It may seem absurd to have 15,000 passengers on a motorcycle. But that is how many students Spain had when, at the close of the summer school, he left for home, after completing the course in bee keeping. The other three students also took thousands of the winged insects home with them, but an more conventional modes of conveyance.
That reminds us that a few years ago the number of beehives in Israel was doubled by the acquisition from the United States of thirty thousand hives—complete with modern equipment.
Apiculture has not yet recovered from the loss of a large number of swarms during Israel's War of Independence; but the Ministry of Apiculture has imported an Italian variety of bee which is being bred satisfactorily in government beehives at Hefzibah, Zrifin, and Acre for distribution to apiarists, who are also given instruction in the latest methods of apiculture.
But in Tampa, Florida, George S. Brewer says he is quitting the bee-raising business. Fire destroyed more than two million of his bees. The fire which blazed through the undergrowth where the four hundred hives were located burned for five hours. One fireman was injured and all the hives destroyed.
TEACHER—"Tommy, do you know 'How Doth the Little Busy Bee'?"
TOMMY—"No; I only know he doth it!"