Hot Paws: Protect Your Pup’s Paws!

Hot Paws:

7 Tips for Protecting Your Dogs Paws This Summer

 

We, at More Bees, look forward to seeing all of our customers when we go to the farmer’s markets. We love introducing you to our products, answering your questions, and helping you pick out that special something your yourself or others.  Your ideas and feedback on our wonderful beeswax and honey body products are truly appreciated.

The market is fun to explore, with new things showing up weekly. We know those of you who bring pets look forward to sharing the market experience with your furry family members..

Dogs resting in the shade for a break from walking on hot asphalt.

Which brings us to something important we want to share with all of you. Several days over the next week, we are expecting temperatures in the nineties in the Portland Metropolitan Area. It will be hot and sweaty, and even downright uncomfortable at times. All of the people we see at the market have the benefit of shoes between the soles of their feet, and the hot pavement. Most of the dogs we see out there don’t have that benefit. As the temperature go up, so does the temperature of the pavement. But the pavement temperature is much higher than the air temperature reported on the news, or your weather app.

Please, if you bring your four-legged family member to the market, and they are walking, check the temperature of the pavement periodically. Make sure it will not be hot enough to burn their paws.

Remember, if you think the pavement it too hot for your feet, then it’s too hot for your dog’s feet. Does you dog keep going under tables? Is he dancing or prancing about?  Do you need to pull on the lead to get her going? Maybe you notice an odd gait? Please check the pavement temperature before admonishing your pup. Hot pavement could be causing pain and even injury to your dog’s paw pads. So, if the pavement feels hot, please remember to check the paw pads for sign of injuries.

 

Ways to protect your dog’s paws in hot heat:

  1. Make sure your dogs paws are in good shape. Inspect them regularly to look for injury, dryness, cracking, and fungal infection. Paws in good shape are less likely to become injured.
  2. Moisturize your dog’s paw pads regularly. Skin that is healthy and well moisturized is less likely to tear or crack. More Bees Solid Lotion will work just as well on your dog’s feet as they do on yours. We recommend the unscented Natural, or lightly scented Lavender Solid Lotions. Both are all natural, and full of beeswax an nourishing oils. Note that paw moisturizers WILL NOT keep your dogs paws from burning.

 

  1. Walk the dog early or late, not during the highest heat of the day.

 

  1. Let your dog walk on the grass when possible if it is hot out. The grass will be much cooler than pavement, sand, and even dirt. (But if it’s not too hot, let them walk on the pavement, since this will toughen up their paw pads a bit, so they are less likely to tear or burn as easily.)

 

  1. Use a dog stroller, dog carrier, or dog backpack. If you know it is too hot for Fido to walk, but you still want to take him with you. Improvise if you need to. The smaller the dog, the easier it is to do.

  1. Put dog boots, dog shoes, or dog socks on your dog’s feet. If Rex is too large for a backpack or stroller, or Fluffy really wants to walk, consider putting shoes, boots, or socks on them. Just like with your feet, these will provide protection from the burning pavement.

  1. If your dog does suffer from a heat related paw injury, call your vet. They can advise you as to how to treat the injury and whether or not the pet should be seen. While they cannot stitch a burned paw back together, they can clean and dress the injuries, provide your furry friend with antibiotics that will keep their paws from getting infected as they heal, and prescribe pain medication so they don’t suffer as much.

 

For those who didn’t know, their fur babies pad can burn and get hurt pretty badly, we hope this helps you for the future. As for those who may have heard we hope this is a friendly reminder to watch for your dog’s feet. We all love having our furry family out and about with us, but we shouldn’t let them hurt just to be at our side. Have any more helpful tips to give for other people so they too can protect their pup’s feet? Post them below and share the puppy love!

 

 

Bee Garden Gone Wrong; Where Are The Bees?

Bee Garden Gone Wrong;

Where Are The Bees?

Spring has come and gone and bees are buzzing about, you have this beautiful and lush garden  but no bees are indulging in all the flora. Why? It is noble to want to plant for the bees to help them and save them from their dwindling numbers, but sometimes good intentions don’t always work out. So, what could be wrong with your bee garden?

 

What’s In Your Garden?

First off, do you have peppermint, cinnamon, or garlic? All three and other similar plants may ward away bees due to the unappealing or overbearing smell. Some bees may make the trek over but there is a good chance you won’t get all the bees you want. Though every bit does help, perhaps leaving these plants out of your yard will aid in bringing in more bees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps you are growing your own vegetables; we all know fresh produce is the best. But, certain foods can ward them away. Bees tend to have a distaste for cucumber which is believed to be from the acid that simply does not resonate with the busy little pollinators. So, if you have cucumbers, why not set them aside of set up a greenhouse? This will help attract bees to the greater selection you may have.

Bad Flowers

We all know bees LOVE flowers! I mean, how else do they make honey? Well, some flowers really are a no-go for our friends. A variety is good and nice to see, but what are the main colors? Maybe red? Well, there is the first issue. Bees see the world in an unique and amazing way that helps them find the best flowers. Red -however- doesn’t come up very clear to the bees and may be skipped all together. So, consider lots of yellow, blue, and purple -all these will still help you have a gorgeous garden still; but the bees can see them way better.

 

Smell is a huge one, the more fragrant the more the bees think, “Oh wow, it’s a buffet.” So; the opposite also has a similar effect. Weak scented flowers won’t really attract the bees; so, consider some rather fragrant flowers to attract more bees. So, if you have light fragrant flowers maybe plant them near your house where you don’t want bees but want lovely color -like those red flowers.

 

Next up, the shape. Those shaped like trumpets are a pain for bees to squeeze through for nectar. So, most will avoid them to conserve energy and time. Consider flowers that are more open and easy for a bee to maneuver about. Less bees will come if the garden is too challenging to get what they need.

Finally, did you know some flowers are lethal or -at least- harmful to bees and the honey? Rhododendrons are a rather nasty one that can make bees sick as well as make any honey that is created unsafe for human consumption. Also, azaleas and oleanders are also bad for bees and can be very harmful. So, it is best to just avoid these flowers and most of all; you should do your research to make sure you have a nice variety that works for the bees and you for a good and successful bee friendly garden.

Oleanders
Rhododendron
Azalea

Food For Thought

Another thing you can do to help bring more bees to your garden is bee water. We have mentioned this before but a reminder is always nice. These simple little water stations are life savers for the bees as they can travel long distances and may get dehydrated. Also, bees cannot swim and are very susceptible to drowning. These are super easy and you can be really creative with making them.

What you will need:

  • A container to hold the water –  a pet bowl, pie tin, bucket, a birdbath, or something of the likes that will hold water.
  • Rocks, marbles, pieces of wood, moss, or others things for bees to land on. Bees cannot swim, so this is very important.
  • Water

Yeah, it can really be as simple as that! The hardest is remembering to refill the water frequently, so that the bees don’t run out.

We hope all of this helps you make a much more flourishing bee friendly garden so you can help us in our mission to save the bees. If we missed anything please let us know in the comments below. The bee loving community should all know and share the best was to help bees so they can some day thrive as they did.

Finding the Perfect Pollinator For You

Looking for the Perfect Pollinator

Say, you want to begin beekeeping to not only help support one of nature’s greatest pollinators, but to also help support your own garden. You begin your research to find some honey bees; but none of them fit the bill quite right. Something or other just doesn’t make them the perfect pollinator for your yard

 

So, you get yourself  some Blue Orchard Mason bees instead. That’s great! We need all the pollinators we can get. It’s not just the honey bees that are suffering, and the mason bees are a great choice for localized pollination (their range is much smaller than a honeybee’s). They are little pollinator powerhouses.

 

But they do have a downside. You see, whereas honeybees pollinate plants from early spring and into the fall, Mason bees only pollinate the fruits, nuts, and early flowers of the spring. By the time summer rolls around, they’ve built their nesting cells, laid an egg in each, filled each with pollen, and capped the cells over. Having assured the continuation of their species, the adult Mason bees die. Their young will hatch the following spring, to continue the cycle.

 

So, how do you assure pollinators for your summer vegetable garden, and all the summer and early fall flowers if all your mason bees are now gone?

A Different Kind of Pollinator

Enter Megachile rotundata, the Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee. This bee was naturalized across the country in 1940, and was credited with saving the American alfalfa industry. Alfalfa is used as a high protein feed for a variety of livestock. These bees saved the industry, because it turns out that they are 15 times more efficient at pollination than the honeybee.

 

Megachile rotundata are known as leafcutter bees because the female bees cut ¾ in circles out of leaves to use as nesting material in their nesting houses. They prefer the leaves of rose, josta, lilac, and pea plants, but have been known to use other leaves. Though the circular holes on the leaves aren’t pretty to look at, the circles of leaf material taken do not harm the plant, and are invaluable to these bees.

Leaf-cutting Bee (Megachile species) female in flight with cut leaf section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like the Blue Orchard Mason bees, Leafcutter bees are solitary bees.  They do not live in large hives, and there is no queen. Instead, they build nests in hollow stems, and small holes in trees. People can provide suitable nests for leafcutter bees, if they would like to raise them in their yards.  As with the Mason bees, a house that can be disassembled, or one that holds paper tubes, is preferable. This allows you to gently harvest the cocoons for safe keeping over the winter. Do not get the leafcutter cocoons wet – they are not waterproof.

 

Also as with the Mason bees, pollen is carried on the underbelly, and not in pollen sacks, making this bee a very effective pollinator. A really interesting thing about these bees is that they are bivoltine. This means that they are capable of  producing two generations of offspring in a single season. After the female lays her eggs in the prepared nesting house, the eggs can either rapidly hatch and develop into adult bees, or the eggs can be overwintered, with mature adults emerging in the late spring to early summer of the next year. If the eggs laid developed rapidly and emerged as adults shortly after being laid, these second generation bees not only add to the number of overwintering cocoons, they also add a special boost to your garden, providing extra pollination in the late summer and early fall.

 

Unlike Mason bees, Leafcutter bees can and will sting if they are aggressively handled, but the sting is very mild, and virtually pain free. If you would like to make the addition of leafcutter bees to your garden pollinator series, they can be purchased from some garden stores, as well as online

.

For more information, check out the following links.

 

Lifecycle of a leafcutter bee – this schematic only shows one generation, but if conditions are suitable in your area, you may also see second generation bees.

Leafcutter vs Mason bees

Tunnel Nests for Leafcutter bees

How nesting boxes differ by species

What Does Fremont Have in Store for You this Weekend?

For Anybody Looking for Something to do This Weekend-

Keep Reading

Not only will we be at our usual markets (Hillsboro Farmers Market in downtown Hillsboro, OR, Gresham Saturday Market on the beautiful Mount Hood Community College Campus, in Gresham, OR, and the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, OR), we will also be at Fremont Fair in Seattle, WA. On June 16-17, in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle, Fremont Fair will be taking place. It is a celebration of the summer solstice, and the start of summer. It’s big, Big, BIG! And it has something for everybody.

 

 

The Solstice parade is a Mardi Gras styled parade that encourages even the spectators to participate. The Parade is at 1 P.M. on Saturday, but plan to arrive early if you’re going to view the parade.

 

Before and after the parade, there will be plenty to keep you busy.

Well over 300 booths featuring handcrafted goods and art.

There are even decorated cars, a dog parade, and there are even nude bike cyclists to start off the parade! Check it all out at the official Fremont Fair website. Maybe we’ll see you there.

For more fun facts and information on the solstice fair itself look here Fremont solstice parade.

Tips for Healthier Skin: Comedogenic Substances

“Can I use this on my face?”

This is a question many of our customers ask when looking at our solid lotions. Our answer to this question is…maybe. It depends on your skin, and how coconut oil affects your complexion. You see, our solid lotions contain coconut oil. It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for your skin. Some people even find it helpful with eczema and psoriasis. But it also scores a 4 on the comedogenic scale.

So what is comedogenic, anyway?

Comedogenic (com·e·do·gen·ic) is a word used to describe substances, and it means that the substance tends to cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin.

You may have seen substances, or even products, touted as non-comedogenic. the term non-comedogenic is used to describe substances that do not tend to cause blackheads by blocking the pores. When applied to a product, the term means generally means that the skin-care product has been formulated so that it will not cause blocked pores.

Based on scientific studies, a comedogenic rating scale from 0-5 has been compiled (see the end of this post for a list) The rating indicates the likelihood that a substance will clog your pores.

0 – will not clog your pores.

1 – little chance of clogging your pores.

2 may possibly clog your pores.

3 – likely to clog your pores.

4 – very likely to clog your pores.

5 will definitely clog your pores.

Substances are fine to use on your face, and other acne prone areas, if they have a rating of 2 or below. They are unlikely to cause acne. Conversely, you should avoid using substance with ratings of 4 or 5 on your face.

 

There are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that your skin is individual, and the ratings were devised using either the rabbit ear test or else groups of people. This means that ratings are a rule of thumb, not written in stone. If you are acne prone, you may want to test the substance to see if it causes a problem for you.

 

Next, products are made up of a mixture of ingredients (substances). The ingredients chosen, and the ratios they are mixed in, can affect the comedogenicity of the overall product.  But you can’t tell just by reading a label if the product will clog your pores. Just because a product contains a small amount of a level 4 or 5 comedogenic substance does not mean the product will necessarily be comedogenic. That said, if you are prone to acne, and one of the first 5 ingredients is a 4 or 5 on the comedogenic scale, it may cause you problems.

 

Finally, for products, there is no official designation of ‘non-comedogenic’. It’s a completely unregulated term. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything. So, when you see a product promoting itself as non-comedogenic, realize that it can still cause problems.

What Does All of This Mean?

What all of this means is that you should test new products before using them on your face, neck, chest, or back; especially if you are acne prone. These are the areas of the body people are most likely to get acne outbreaks.

 

How to test a product to see if it will clog your pores: test the product in an area that is prone to acne. If you are fast to break out, then you’ll know soon enough. If it takes a few days, or a few weeks for you, then keep testing than keep testing the area daily. If you breakout on your back or chest, you could spot test there so it isn’t as conspicuous.

How to Test it

For seeing if products with comedogenic substances will be an issue for you test it on an area of skin that is inconspicuous and small. Try it for a few day or give it more time. You may find you have a lotion that is great for your hand legs feet knees and elbows and is also safe for your face. We hope you found this informative about the that big word comedogenic or the term non-comedogenic and how it applies to our lotion and to you.

 

Consider just giving it a try to see if it works for you. It may cause an outbreak, it may not. What is considered a higher level comedogenic may not affect your skin as much as somebody else. It all depends on your skin.

For more information on the subject of comedogenic substances, and how to properly use comedogenic ratings, check out these blog posts from Lab Muffin, and Complicated Conversation.

The Birds and the Bees; It’s Not What You Think, Tale of Our Grim Lesson

Who knew that chickens and bees would have one very tragic similarity?

 

Certainly not us.

 

You see, chickens and bees can both easily drown.


We discovered this quite traumatically this past Wednesday; at 5:30 P.M., all three of our daughter’s chickens were hanging out on the back deck, sunning themselves. Less than two hours later, when our daughter went to put the chickens in their coop for the night, one of them was nowhere to be found. We frantically searched our backyard, and then the immediate neighborhood. Out of desperation, we traversed the backyard again. To our great horror, we found Lily in the pond. The poor thing had drowned.

We didn’t know that chickens aren’t the best swimmers, and they cannot fly out of the water like water birds. They can float, and even swim a bit, but once their feathers get wet, the weight of their soaked feathers causes them to sink like a rock. This means that even if they do manage to swim for awhile, the chicken still is in danger of drowning.

 

So, ponds are a very real hazard for chickens. Same with buckets, kiddie pools, and even deep puddles. A chicken is very likely to drown in the event their feathers become drenched and begin to weigh them down.

Unlike bees, you cannot just throw a few rocks and/or floats in the water, and assume that the chicken will be able to get itself out of danger.

If they cannot get out by themselves chickens are in danger. They will swim until they become exhausted and then drown, become waterlogged then drown, or they can become soaked and succumb to hypothermia if it is too cool outside. If the chicken panics and flails when it hits the water they will saturate themselves and possibly breath in water, making them even more likely to have trouble in the water.

 

Providing  a walk-out pool or pond does not ensure that the chickens will be safe. It turns out, when thinking chicken and water, think 1-year old human baby and water. If you would worry about your infant or toddler drowning in a given situation, it is a concern for your chickens too.

 

So; If there are chickens in your lives, make sure that you are aware of this danger.

 

If you let your chickens near water, keep a vigilant eye on them, and help them out, if they find themselves in the water. Even if they are in a walk-out pool or pond, if they get soaked and are in water that is too deep, get them out of the water before it is too late. Dry them off it is cool, since they can get hypothermia easily when soaked. Finally, consider chicken-proofing water features and emptying other sources of water that pose hazards to you chickens.

 

Chicken are land fowls that depend on foraging and roost in low sitting branches. Case in point, they aren’t like ducks, they don’t do well with water. So; if you have chickens as a pet and want them to live long and happy, keep an eye on their surroundings. If there is remotely deep water, consider putting up your chickens up for the time as rain passes and puddles dry. If you have ponds, try out some netting to keep your chickens out to prevent unnecessary tragedy.

Our post tonight is in loving Memory of Lily the Chicken.

She will be dearly missed by her chicken sisters,

as well as her human friends and family.

Informative Link discussing how chickens are different than waterfowl with respect to swimming.

Plant Poppies For Our Fallen

Poppies for the Fallen

Imagine the breeze making brilliant scarlet flowers swing and sway. Buds of lush red bouncing against stems of green in a field of stark and stunning beauty. Small and sedulous bees visiting each bud, collecting and pollinating. All is peaceful as nature unfolds before you, the blue sky is deep and expansive as it stretches passed rolling hills and looming, majestic mountains along the horizon.

 

How beautiful, ethereal, and captivating right? But to those who know; those who understand, it is a constant reminder of battles fought and life lost. A memento of struggle, conflict, and loss; whether a brother, a parent, a child, these lovely flowers are also a reminder of those lost to war.

The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower made to represent a common red field poppy. It was promoted by Moina Michael after the WWI poem “in Flanders Fields” was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

The American Legion adopted it as a symbol to commemorate fallen soldiers in 1921. Today it is still used as a symbol in America. It was also adopted by the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, where it is still used extensively in those countries.

 

Poppies for the Fallen

This Memorial Day, why not take the time to remember those who have fallen by planting poppies. Every time you see the bright red blooms, it will be a reminder to remember all that was beautiful about those we have lost.

For those of you planting for the bees, not only are the poppies a beautiful reminder of those you’ve loved, and an honor to those who have lost their lives serving, it is also a plant that the bees love.

Check out this link for an in depth discussion of poppies and memorial day.

 

Queen Bee for a Day

5 ways to leave mom feeling like the queen of the hive

 

Mom’s are loving, selfless, fierce cornerstones of support at their best, and crazed, tyrannical  groughes at their worst moments. But most of them rarely feel like a queen. They’re too busy alternating between working to support their families, and cleaning up messes, kissing owies, breaking up fights, cooking, cleaning, and doing all the other things mothers do.

 

So basically, they’re too busy taking care of the needs of others.

 

 

For Mother’s day this year, why not make your special mom feel like a queen? Try one of these ideas for a day that will leave her feeling like royalty:

 

  • Clean up without being asked. Pick up all the laundry and wash it. Tidy the flat surfaces. Dump the garbage. Do the dishes and wipe down the counters. Vacuum. Talk to your kids, if they are big enough to participate. Let them know what you are doing, and why. Then, do it all with a smile. Do it all without expecting praise. Do it as a gift. Make it about that special mom, and not you.

 

  • Detail mom’s car. Wash and wax it. Clean the windows. Armorall the tires and Dash. Vacuum the carpets. Add an air freshener for good measure. You could even go all out and hang a charm to her rearview mirror.  It will remind her of your thoughtful act every time she drives anywhere.

 

  • Plan a small family outing, and make it something she has been wanting to do. Watch and listen. Mothers drop hints and clues all the time about their wants and dreams. Make one come true. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be genuine. Maybe it’s a new garden store she wants to visit, a movie she really wants to see, or a hiking trail she wants to try. Coach the kids in advance, so they know that they shouldn’t complain. Explain that being selfless is something people sometimes do for those they care about, and remind them that mom usually picks activities that need to get done, or that others want to do, not what she really wants to do. If that doesn’t work, explain that the activity is a present. Remind them that mothers are selfless all the time.

  • Call a friend or relative of hers, and send them to lunch or dinner on you.  Sometimes, moms are so busy taking care of others, they don’t always get the chance to really connect with their friends or family. Remember to make sure that the kids get fed, and the mess from it is cleaned up before mom gets back.

  • Pamper her like a queen for the day. Have her sit down and relax. Let her have total control of the TV remote, or offer up a few of her favorite books. Make sure the kids know you are the go-to person if they need anything. Bring her drinks and food so that she doesn’t have to get them for herself. Finally, make sure you clean up any messes you make, so your special mother isn’t faced with a disaster after she gets up from her time spent relaxing.

 

Remember, you don’t have to wait for mothers day to come around to make the mothers in your life to feel truly royal. And your gestures don’t have to be grand or expensive.They just have to be thoughtful and genuine. So what will you do this Mother’s for your mom?

Say Goodbye to Plastic Microbeads

 

With all the reversals and rollbacks on environmental regulations of late, it is good to see that the ban on plastic microbeads is to go into effect as scheduled in the Microbead-Free Waters Act, which was passed December 18, 2015. If you’re wondering what microbeads are, they are tiny plastic particles that are 1mm or less in diameter. They are added to products to add scrubbing power. The ban in the Micro-Free Waters Act covers the use of plastic microbeads in rinse-off body products. So, we’re talking things like body scrubs, face cleanser, soap, and toothpaste. Some of the beads are large enough to easily see with the naked eye, but others are a little smaller, and dispersed in opaque products, making them less obvious. Plastic microbeads were first introduced to consumers in 1972, and are now found in over 100 body care products made, distributed, and sold by companies across our country.

The Microbead-Free Waters Act is being implemented in three stages: the first stage went into effect on July 1, 2017. The second stage goes into effect July 1, 2018. The final stage is to be implemented July 1, 2019. So in essence, after July 1, 2019, the manufacture, distribution, and sale of all microbead containing medicated and non-medicated rinse-off body products will be in effect in the United States.

 

Some companies are being proactive and replacing microbeads in their formulas with natural alternatives, or scrapping products altogether.

 

And the United States is not the only country to see the disturbing effects of plastic microbeads, and made subsequent moves to ban them. As you can see from the map, while a handful of countries have made moves to ban them, we still have a long way to go in eliminating microbeads.

Some of you are probably wondering why we should ban plastic microbeads at all. They look cool, feel neat, exfoliate our skin, and scrub our teeth. The reason is that most sewage plants are not designed to remove all the microplastics and microbeads from our wastewater, so they are most often released into our waters.

 

Increasing numbers of fish and other aquatic organisms  are adversely affected by ingesting plastic microbeads. Microbeads look like plankton, algae, krill, and/or fish eggs to other fish, and so they eat them. With their digestive tracts full of plastics, it leaves little room for nutritious food.

The fish that don’t die may well end up on your plate. Some of you might think “so, it’s just a little plastic; it’ll pass through, it won’t affect me.’ But microbeads are a route for toxins to come into the bodies of animals, because many toxins absorb onto their surfaces.

 

Each plastic microbead seems small and inconsequential, but just a few accumulating in our waterways can begin to have detrimental consequences. So, remember the next time you walk by a bottle with colorful plastic microbeads, and you think “Oo!  How pretty. Gotta buy it!” that the fish and other aquatic life that will later see those same beads will think “Oh! Yummy! Gotta eat it!”, which will displace nutritious foods, causing the animal to possibly starve. ‘It,’ which will have picked up toxins as the bead makes its way through our stormwater and sewage systems before being discharged in our waterways.

In the meantime, look for products that are microplastic/plastic microbead free. Below is a link listing microplastic as they appear on ingredient lists. Try to avoid products with any of these ingredients. Instead, look for products that have natural exfoliants. Look for Finely ground oats, rose hips, walnut shells, ground coffee, pumice, sugar, or even salt. These can all be used as exfoliates. Jojoba beads, which are made from jojoba oil, are a natural product made from jojoba oil, and they begin to breakdown as soon as you start to use them. They look like plastic microbeads, but are a safe option for you and the environment.

 

 

At More Bees, we use only natural exfoliates in our soaps and sugar scrubs. From the oats, spices, and other plant matter we add to our soaps, to the sugar we use in our scrubs, you never have to worry about plastic microbeads in More Bees products.  We want to bring our customers the quality they love with the oath to being healthy for you and the planet.

FDA Q&A on microbead-free waters act

Products containing plastic microbeads by country

Ingredients that are microplastics

The Flight of the Drone

Here’s a riddle for you:

I have no father, and only one grandfather.

If I have any children, they will all be girls,

but my grandchildren can be boys or girls.

Who am I?

Answer: I’m a boy bee, also known as a drone bee.

 

A female bee is made when a queen egg that has been fertilized with drone sperm is allowed to develop into a bee. This bee is almost always a worker bees, though rarely, a new queen can develop. Female bees have 32 chromosomes, 16 from mother and 16 from the father.

 

An egg laid by either 1) a drone laying worker or 2) an unfertilized queen will produce a drone bee. Because drones bees don’t have a father, they have only 16 chromosomes, and they are all from their mother. This makes them haploid.

 

Drones look different from queens and workers. They have big eyes, big blunt bodies, no stinger, and are somewhere between queen and worker in size. They are friendly and docile, and cannot sting.

Each type of bee have their own jobs. Queens are in charge and lay eggs that will become future workers; there is only one in a hive. Workers work at all the tasks that needs done in the hive and there are tens of thousands of them in a hive. The workers cover the cleaning and child care, to guarding the hive and foraging, they do it all. Except for the one thing they can’t do,they can’t have sex with the queen to fertilize her eggs. That’s what the drones are for. There are hundreds to thousands of them in a hive. They make up about 5% of the hive population during foraging season a their main job is to fertilize queen eggs.

Lots of people will tell you that all drones do is eat, sleep, sit around, and have sex. Some of you are shaking your heads, thinking Just like every other man. But is that really? Or are we humanizing the drones? Or minimizing their contributions? It turns out that the lives of drone bees are not as idyllic and lazy as many people assume.  But then, life rarely is as it appears.

 

The life of a drone goes something like this:

 

The first 3 days are spent as an egg, then the next 6 ½ days are spent as a larva, and finally 14 ½  are spent as a pupa. At the 24 day mark, the drone is now an adult. Newly emerging adult drone bees send their first 3-4 days begging food from nurse bees. While it is true that drone bees will continue to eat the nectar and pollen brought in by worker bees for the rest of their short lives, they also help the worker bees in the hive maintain a desirable incubation temperature for developing and emerging bees, and they are better at it than the worker bees..

At 14 days of adulthood another job is added. The drones become sexually mature and begin leaving the hive during the day to spend time in drone congregation areas. Drone congregation areas (DCA’s) are areas where drone bees gather. When a drone leaves the hive, it will visit these areas, sometimes several of them in a day. These areas are 100 – 650 feet in diameter, and 50-130 feet above the ground. Often, these areas are used year after year, though why that is is unknown. (This is truly amazing when you realize that drone bees do not live through the winter, so how do they know where to go?) While drones have been shown to travel as far as 4 ½  miles to reach a DCA, drones prefer DCA’s close to their hive. DCA’s usually have hundreds to several thousand drones visiting at a time, and the drones come from as many as a thousand hives. It is only in these DCA’s that drone bees pursue queen bees. So far, it all sounds like a pretty cushy life, but this is where it starts to suddenly get a bit darker for many drone bees.

 

When a queen is fully developed and fertile, she will leave her hive on her nuptial or wedding flight, and makes her way to a DCA. While in the DCA, only the healthiest, fastest, and brightest drones will be able to catch her to mate.This means that only the best drones will be able to pass on their genetic material. The queen will mate with roughly 10-20 of the drones on one of her mating flight while it is said they only have one flight queens have been known to make up to three mating flights to gather enough semen. The semen collected will fertilize all the fertile eggs she will ever lay in her lifetime.

 

Now here’s for the really dark part for the drone bees. During the act of mating, their genitals are ripped from their bodies, killing them. For the next male to mate, it will have to remove the genitals of the previous male that mated with the queen.

 

And if that isn’t bad enough, when resources run low the drone bees are forced from the hive, and their developing bodies are pulled from the cells they are in and pushed from the hive. It usually happens at the end of summer, or the end of fall at the latest. This makes the drone lifespan the shortest of the three classes of bees.

Drones and drone brood kicked from the hive.

In case you are wondering, The queen lives for 3-4 years on average. Worker bees vary at  1 ½ – 2 months in the spring, summer and early fall and 4-5 months if born in the late fall. Drones lives much shorter adult lives at  2wks to 4 months, with 2 months being the average.

 

So, in the end, the drone really has a kind of sad and short life that one can’t really shake a stick at. His part to play if rather crucial but in time of urgency, he will become a needed sacrifice for the greater good of the hive. We are sure that many men don’t envy that idea and we don’t think anyone else really should either. Yet, this is what is means to survive as a bee and we are sure that these incredible organisms to cherish every bit each member of the hive has to offer. What are your thoughts? Don’t you think it would be kind of scary if we lived like bees? Share your thoughts and whatnot with us either here in the comment section, on our facebook page, or on instagram with #MoreBees.