Celtic Heroes

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The REAL Summer Event...

There was a two part programme on the BBC, Hive Alive (ending last night) about bees. It was simply incredible; an educational and visual feast. A quarter of the bee population in Britain has been lost due to a combination of disease (a form of gut rot brought in by imported bees), farming pesticides and no fields of wild flowers anymore (the latter probably explaining why the butterfly population has also been decimated). Fortunately the government now gives grants to farmers who set aside small areas of some of their fields for wild flowers to grow.

It is pretty scary to think that if the world loses its bees (the USA bee population is also in decline), we would never have strawberries to eat in the summer, nor just about every other fruit or vegetable type. We would have bread and rice.....not exactly a healthy diet on their own.

Our bees sure work hard.....apparently what is left on a knife after spreading honey on bread or toast amounts to a life times nectar gathering by one single bee. Their tiny bodies reach a temp. of 40c as they work incessantly, buzzing from flower to flower (their wings beating at a phenomenal rate of course).

Here's the grizzly/funny part. Not one, but several queen bees emerge from pupa stage; basically the one that emerges first and is the strongest then sets about killing her rivals. When she herself is ready for mating she flies away from her birth hive and something like 25,000 male bees group up to follow her. Copulation is an 'in flight' event, with the smaller male clinging on to her and thrusting his perfect thunderstorm with such force and depth into her abdomen that it literally explodes and makes an audible popping sound :o (the cameraman who filmed this must have wanted to hold his crutch). This kills the male bee instantly and he falls to the ground. I know some spider and other male insect species pay a hefty price for mating, ending up being eaten by the female. It would appear where the insect world is concerned nature doesn't allow the male sex to hang around simply admiring itself (in turn female insects being spared that well known inadequate, boring type male that females of our own species, and indeed even other males, find a complete and utter joke...the totally useless and inadequate ones who go around constantly pontificating about being, 'a real man' while spending their entire lives sitting on their arse playing an MMO).

This is written for all the youngest teenage beasties I know on game, some of whom are telling me how bored they are right now (the summer school break but nothing to do). My advice is get outside as much as poss. Even if you live in a city there are parks and areas to stretch your own young wings. Don't waste the precious summers of your youth playing a bloody on line game during day light hours!

To all and everyone who may read this, enjoy the REAL summer Event! One last thing, the next time a bee is buzzing away in your home, don't whack it with a newspaper (put a wide brimmed glass over it, slide a thin square of cardboard underneath and take it outside to let it go free). I caught a Red Admiral butterfly that way yesterday (poor thing frantically flapping its wings on the inside of the bathroom window). It was fantastic letting it go and watching it zoom off, high into the sky and over a field of barley.

We spend too much time trapped inside human inventions, from cars to iPhones/pads. Go outside!

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