Backyard Encounters (2015)

If I asked you to 'think of bees', it probably wouldn't take long before the word 'honey' came to mind. Four hives were recently set up on our rural property, and that's when my education began. On colder days I wondered how my 'guests' were doing; when the blossoms fell off the trees I wondered whether they could wait until the next trees bloomed. Each event caused me to worry about their fate. Then I found out that bees are responsible for pollinating one out of every three bites of food we swallow, and for increasing crop yields by as much as 300%! So I started to think that they must be able to look after themselves, that is until I learned that bee populations, in general, are in trouble. Whether by predation, pesticides, or diseases, their numbers are declining. My small part may be to offer sanctuary to a couple of hundred thousand bees. It can't hurt to also highlight one bee in a painting, hopefully prompting the 'selfish species' to imagine a world without tomatoes, beans, carrots, or hundreds of other vegetables because, if nothing changes, that's the direction our world may be headed!
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Backyard Encounters

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