Jottings From Jazianzza: It’s so hot! What do bees do?

Greetings to all of you and thank you for joining Jazianzza Azzaza Buzzabee and me on our journey towards the publication of Bee-Coming Strong, the illustrated children’s book we wrote. Technically, Jazianzza, our little heroine honeybee wrote the book, and I just translated it for her. Pretty nice of her to let us in on how MamaQueenzieBee helped her become calmer and happier in her hive. It’s an inspiring story she has shared.

Jazianzza wanted to let her two-legged friends know how her hive keeps cool when the temperature starts to rise. They like to keep the hive about 95 degrees, so when it gets too warm her sisters have several solutions. We’ll share a couple of them here.

One of the first things they can do is called “fanning”. Several of them go outside the entrance of the hive, turn around, lift their abdomens up in the air, and start beating their wings energetically. Just like the air conditioners we set in our windows, this united action of theirs brings in cool air and draws out the warm air. Pretty cool, huh? And yes, obvious pun intended! 

Another method bees employ is to find a water source, put it in their honey sack (a special part of their stomach used for transporting water and nectar), and then bring it back home. They pass it forward to another bee who takes the water and spits it out inside the hive, all over the comb. Then they quickly fan their wings to make a mist that evaporates, creating an effective homemade air conditioner. Brilliant! Here’s a short, random YouTube video that shows them in action…

Jazi wanted to let you know that she did something very daring. She had read in the Daily Bee that in India they were mimicking her family’s beehive to design a brilliant cooling system, so she flew over to see what it was all about. She met with the young architect, Monish Siripurapu, who used the idea of the beehive formation, employing cylindrical clay pots stacked atop one another. He showed her that the use of recycled water flowing over the surface of the cylinders cools the air, without any environmental pollution, which occurs with our air conditioners. Monish even found that the moss that grows on the pots helps to take impurities out of the air!

Sadly, Jazianzza isn’t in this photo, but she wanted you to be able to read about it in case you’re interested.…

When he showed the system to Jazianzza she told me her mouth started salivating, thinking about how much honey could be stored in those clay pots. Mostly, though, she was just proud that bees were able to help the two-leggeds come up with a fantastic solution to the growing problem of the climate crisis. Bravo to you, Monish, and all others who are seeking ways to deal with the environmental challenges we’re living with.

So, what can we do to help Jazianzza and her family, as well as all our winged friends in this time of increasing heat on the planet? One idea is to set out shallow plates with rocks in them and add clean, preferably unchlorinated water so they will have something to drink. In addition, a dear friend gave me a beautiful, blown glass “bee ball”. Here’s a link to their site. I receive no financial gain from promoting the bee ball, but it makes me happy to let folks know about an unusual item that adds beauty to a garden and serves our bee friends so well. Let me know what you think!

Also, I recently read an article about what to do to help keep cats cool. I’d think it would work for all four-leggeds. They advised that we wet our furry friend’s ears and paws, and then provide a wet towel for them to lay on. Sounds good to me!

Stay cool, my hive friends. Remember to keep yourselves, your children, and your furry friends hydrated. And thank you for joining Jazianzza and me in this month’s Jottings From Jazianzza.

“All art is but imitation of nature.”


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