Blog #22 bees have spit

November 8, 2014

A couple weeks back, the kids and I saw a massive beehive hanging from the neighbors tree. It is ginormous. Later that afternoon, as we were driving back into the neighborhood, I notice a piece of that nest had fallen to the the ground. I pulled the car over and Arianna went and picked it up for our collection of nature related stuff. We looked at the many layers of thin nest, marveled at the holes and mazes in the chunk we found, and wondered how the rest of the nest was hanging to the tree so firmly during the wind storm we were having. Then a question, “how do little bees make this intricate nest?” We discussed lots of theories about mud, and water, and helper bees. Truthfully, I did not know exactly how this particular hive was made. Not even sure exactly what bees made hives high into the trees. We brought our nature treasure home, added it to our box of collected things, and played the day away.

Just today, my daughter came up to me describing the bees that make the tree drop paper nests are wasps known as paper wasps. “Paper wasps are about 1 inch long, and have yellow spots. They make their nests from plant stems pieces, fibers, and dead wood mixed together with wasp saliva. The nests have several open combs with cells to raise the baby wasps. The wasps are protective of the nest, and will sting again and again.” She looked it all up, found pictures, and researched the different kinds of bees until she found the one that match the nest we found. I did not make her do this. I never even suggested she find the information. She wanted to do that because it is fun to connect nature to knowing. On top of all this, she also discovered that bee stings can help certain diseases, and that there are bee farmers that raise bees for that exact purpose. Wow. My advice to myself today: keep planting seeds, keep discovering nature with the kids, for you never know where that “need to know” will take them. “And who knew bees have spit!”