Wednesday, July 27, 2011

20 Things You Don't Know About Bees by Liza Lentini

Beehive Drawer
26" x 18"
Encaustic Painting/Mixed Media
See it at the Firefly Gallery
419 L. Street
Anchorage, Alaska

1.There are 16,000 species. Most are solitary insects; only about 5 percent are social bees, the most common being the honeybee. As many as 80,000 of them colonize a single hive.

2.Drones – the male honeybees – live only for mating with the queen. If there is a shortage of food in the hive, the workers kick their lazy, gigolo asses out.
3.To die for: When drones mate, they die afterwards from a ruptured abdomen. Sex detaches their endophallus, which gets stuck inside the queen.

4.She continues to mate – the drones aren’t terribly smart, apparently – until she collects more than 70 million sperm from multiple males.

5.The queen was known as the king until the late 1660s, when Dutch scientist Jan Swammerdam dissected the hive’s big bee and discovered ovaries.

6.Someone call Homeland Security! Australian researchers discovered that honeybees can distinguish human faces. The insects were shown black-and-white pictures and given treats for right answers.

7.Oh, someone did call Homeland Security. In the Stealthy Insect Sensor Project, Los Alamos scientists have trained bees to recognize explosives.

8.The term “honeymoon” is derived from an old northern European custom in which newlyweds would consume a daily cup of mead, made with fermented honey, for a month.

9.The term “bee’s knees” was coined by American cartoonist Tad Dorgan, who was also responsible for “the cat’s pajamas,” “the fleas eyebrows,” “the canary’s tusks,” and (apropos of nothing) “Yes, we have no bananas.”

10.During World War I, honey was used to treat the wounds of soldiers because it attracts and absorbs moisture, making it a valuable healing agent.

11.Honey never spoils. Ever.

12.Bumblebees can estimate time intervals. Researchers have found that the insects extend their tongues in tandem with the rhythm of a sweet reward. This aids in the hunt for nectar, whose availability waxes and wanes.

13.Melittosphex burmensis, recently found preserved in amber in a mine in northern Myanmar, is the oldest bee known. It lived 100 million years ago.

14.After he had pioneered the laws of genetics with pea plants, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel bred a strain of hybrid bees. Unfortunately, they were so vicious he had to kill them.

15.The buzz that you hear when a bee approaches is the sound of its four wings moving at 11,400 strokes per minute. Bees fly and average of 15 miles per hour.

16.A newly hatched queen immediately kills all other hatched and unhatched queens in the hive.

17.The Honeybee Boogie: In 1943 Austrian zoologist Karl von Frisch published his study on the dances bees perform to alert fellow workers. A round dance indicates that food is close by; a waggle dance means it is distant.

18.Worker bees have strictly regimented roles, including that of undertakers who drag their dead siblings from the hive.

19.On the April 1984 ChallengetI flight, 3,300 bees, housed in a special but confining box, adapted perfectly to zero gravity and built a nearly normal comb. But they didn’t go to the toilet. Since bees excrete only outside the hive, they held it in for seven days. A NASA spokesperson said the space hive was “just as clean as a pin”.

20.According to an old wives’ tale, a bee entering your house means a visitor is on his way, and if you kill the bee, the visitor won’t be a pleasant one. Suffice to say, invite that unexpected honeybee guest to sit down to tea.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Feng Shui Approved or Welcome to the Holies of Holies

Lately I have been getting my writing fix by doing "morning pages" that's three pages of longhand writing every morning. Consequently my blog is being neglected, Facebook distracts me also. Along with that I have also been reading and doing the tasks Julia Cameron suggests in the book, The Vein of Gold. One of the tasks is to create for myself a sacred space. I began to notice how much I hated my office and how I hated doing any of the menial office tasks that I needed to do like; reading my e-mails, paying my bills, making my phone calls, filing, (i hate filing) writing a shopping list, etc. I had a very bad attitude whenever I went into my horrible disorganized disaster of an office, I felt distracted, discouraged and bitchy. After speaking with my wise and honest friend Yoby who said, "why don't you fire that lazy clerk with the bad attitude and hire a new CEO?" Why not indeed! So that is the game I played with myself, the new CEO needed to have this sub-par office remodeled!

The base coat is buttercup yellow mixed 3to1 with wallpaper paste. I dry brushed this mixture on in different directions it dried rather quickly. Then mixed Aztec gold the same way  and used the same brush technique the effect is very dramatic.  Peter took off the old door and floor molding and painted the new flutted molding with Aztek gold.

I wanted my new space to be optimistic yellow because; yellow is mentally stimulating and guaranteed to spark creative thoughts it also encourages communication.
BTW this new office only cost me just $112.50! The paint and paste cost me $60.00 the sheers $12.20 and the new molding $40.00.   My icons of Jesus and Mary, St Jude and Blue Madonna look beautiful on this wall and my artifacts have found a good spot.
Now I have a beautiful sacred office space Fen Shui approved. My piles of files are getting smaller and more manageable, I'm giving tons of stuff away. I gave my huge old dinosaur of computer and the ugly computer desk to my grandsons, they were super excited.
 Oh isn't it marvelous what better attitude, organization, and COLOR can do for a persons mood!