Monday, September 24, 2007

Lessons in Nature

So yesterday I was getting out of the car and I saw a huge green bug fly up onto the outside wall of the house. I assumed it was a grasshopper and went over to investigate because it was not flying or jumping away. Lo and behold, it was not a grasshopper, it was a praying mantis. I got the girls outside and we had a mini lesson in nature. I was probably about 8 or 9 years old the last time I saw a praying mantis. I wasn't able to get the camera. Yes I'm mad about that.

Today we went to the apple orchard on a field trip. They have a bee hive there and the children were looking at it (They have one of those plexiglass hives that come into the building so you can see the bees in the hive). There were tons of bees everywhere when we went to pick apples. Come to find out the queen at the resident hive had decided that her colony had grown too big. When this happens she designates one of the larva to be a queen. She picks drones and workers to go with the new queen. They swarm until they are able to build a new hive. The orchard worker who gave us the tour told us this golden nugget of information and showed us the end result. Here's a picture. I was less than 15 feet away from this. I would have loved to have gotten closer but bees scare me. The dark brown spot on the ground is the swarm of bees.

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