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Queen Bee in Winter

The light begins to change and bees begin to stir...

As the year turns, honeybees in the darkness of the hive respond to the slowly strengthening light. Their lives and ours depend on the daily transformation of sunlight, through photosynthesis, into energy available to sustain us. The queen bee - seen here with a green mark - begins again to lay eggs, slowly now, but by spring, in the thousands.  Be sure to check out the photos of bees and their hives, taken by Bill Mondjack.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
The Queen Bee in Winter
Written by Todd Peterson
This is BirdNote!
[The hum of bees in a hive]
Creatures of the natural world, like the honeybees we’re hearing, respond with exquisite sensitivity to the intensity and daily duration of the sun’s light. Their lives, and ours, depend on the miracle of sunlight’s transformation, through photosynthesis, into energy available to sustain us.
Now in the dead of winter, as the year turns, honeybees in the darkness of the hive respond to the slowly strengthening light. To be ready to receive what the world offers, as if in anticipation of the warmth and blossoms yet many months away, the queen bee begins again to lay eggs – slowly now, but by spring, in the thousands. From these will come the foragers that the hive needs. In the weeks of late spring and early summer, they must gather the nectar and pollen to sustain the hive for the entire year.
How do the bees know that the abundance of spring will return? How do they know when to start the cycle of life again? Within them lives the ancient calendar of the year’s turning. The strengthening light speaks to them and says, “Begin”.
[The hum of bees in a hive.]
Writers for BirdNote include Todd Peterson, Ellen Blackstone, Frances Wood, and Bob Sundstrom. Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler composed and played the BirdNote theme music. Our producer is John Kessler, and our executive producer is Chris Peterson.  I’m Michael Stein. 
###
Bees foraging in spring recorded by C. Peterson.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org  January 2014  Narrator: Michael Stein
ID#123005beeKPLU    bee-02b

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