Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day #59 Art by Grandkids and Bees

As I write this, I'm looking at two pictures drawn by my grandchildren. The bright colors and the sheer imagination -- all of this delights me.

I think bees draw pictures, too. The queen bee lays her eggs in a beautiful spiral pattern, like the seeds in a sunflower. This means that as the eggs go through their various stages, those cells change in the same spiral pattern, each of them progressing from an open cell with a single skinny white egg at the bottom of it to one with a growing pupa, and on to the point where the workers pack the cell with honey and pollen for the larva to eat as it continues its growth. Eventually the workers "cap the brood," covering it over with a yellowish-brownish wax cap.

Like an artist picking different oils (or, in the case of my grandchildren, crayons and pens), the bees choose a different color wax to cap the honey cells. That's how a beekeeper knows for sure which frames hold the white capped honey.

Of course, as the baby bees mature, they emerge in that same spiral pattern, the first-laid at the center and the newer ones progressively outward. Finally the queen goes back to the center and starts over again with yet another first white egg in a newly-cleaned cell.

The fact that they've been doing it this way for 140 million years doesn't make it less artistic. It's beautiful. Do they do it because they "have" to? Well, yes, I suppose so. But maybe each queen considers her options and says, "Spirals! That'll look gorgeous!" And we have a continuous wax canvas in front of us.

BEEattitude for Day # 59:
       Blessed are those who choose to see beauty around them, for they shall be uplifted. 

One thing Fran is grateful for right now:
       Hot oatmeal on a cold morning. 

Photos are from the public domain.

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