Bee stories

As the days grow shorter and colder into November, the bees spend most of their time inside the hive, coming out for short flights to check on the neighbourhood. But it only takes a wee bit of sun to encourage a cloud of bees to form outside the hive entrance. You can feel their joy that the rains have ceased for a short time and they can fly out into the fresh air. Fortunately, I have several large rosemary bushes that continue to produce blooms, as well as the ceanothus tree, and I am always thrilled to see bees giving them the once over. I don’t imagine there is much nectar at this time of year though.

I checked on my small hive today, ready to slip in a few more sugar cakes. However, they have only just started to eat the previous cakes, presumably living off the small store of honey they have. With several months to go until spring, I continue to be anxious about their survival.

More on bees!

The rainy season is upon us. Grey days of rain and showers! In the rainforest there is a distinct difference between the soft showers, the steady rain or the deluge! Every morning, I stare out the window at my Bee hives as I listen intently to the weather report and witness with my eyes the state of wet we will have for the day. The bees hunker down when it’s rainy, rarely peeping out of their hives.

I’ve tipped the hives ever so slightly forward so the rain flows away from the hive entrance. But it’s inevitable in a steady drippy downpour that the entrances are wet. Even the slightest hint of better weather has the bees heading out in small numbers, checking out the landscape for food sources.

The moment the sun shone today, the bees were out! After soggy wet days for the past week, they were so happy to be out, drying off, foraging! A cloud of bees is hovering around each hive and I’ve seen bees checking out every tree and bush and late blooming herb! Luckily, the rosemary has a whole crop of late blooms and the bees quickly found them. But it’s scant foraging to be sure this late in the season.

That means it’s important to feed my bees as the cold weather approaches. Bees love sugar cakes and perhaps a bit of pollen! I’ve made a massive stack of sugar cakes and a few days ago I slipped a few cakes into my little hive. Because of its diminutive size, I’m sure they will struggle through the winter. They simply don’t have enough stored honey and pollen so I have my fingers crossed that they will struggle along, accepting the sugar cakes and perhaps other supplements before spring.

The bigger hive is better set for the winter with lots of honey and a much larger, more robust hive.

I am hoping that, despite the forecasts of a long snowy winter, we will have a shorter milder time here on Vancouver Island.

You know what bugs me?

There is was again, that dreadful tv ad! The woman with gleaming white teeth complaining about her yellow teeth. Her friend advises her to get a whitening product. It’s just awful.

As if women did not have enough unrealistic images to try to live up to!

It’s bad enough that women and girls are told they are not thin enough, don’t have the right colour of hair, aren’t wearing the right fashions, but the blatant falsity of whiter than white teeth that need more whitening is terrible! Like the mascara that will give you the lush look in the ad or magazine pictures when it’s obvious the girl in the picture is wearing false eyelashes. These constant messages bombarding young women telling them they are not good enough as they are, makes me very angry! And selling women products that will not give them the results they promise is the intimate dishonesty.

We need more messages that tell women and girls they are perfectly wonderful the way they are! They don’t need the false promises, the unrealistic expectations, the falsified images they see in magazines and advertising. We are all whole and worthy and beautiful as we are!

I am thrilled when I see women praising women, women validating other women and positive messages that build women and girls up and free them from the destructive and unreal promises of advertising messages. We need more of that affirmation! We need advertisers to wake up and see that pitching real images of real women for their products will actually get us purchasing more of their products. There are a few trying this but not nearly enough!

I boycott products whose ads offend me. It may not be a crushing blow to the corporations who make the products but if enough women push back, anything can happen.

Recently on social media, the public took offence at a Campbell Soup representative who sat on a board appointed by President Trump. I was part of that public. Other board members had left in opposition to one of Trump’s new policies but the Campbell Soup rep did not. The social media storm calling for a boycott of Campbell products was so effective the representative left that board less than 24 hours later.

So we can effect change, with our opinions and our purchasing. I think we need to do much more of it if women are truly going to be free from unrealistic images of who we should be and how we should live!