Earlier today I was looking up helpthehoneybees.com. Go check out the site. It's gorgeous and so sad at the same time.
And then I started remembering that I have been meaning to go out to where the bamboo* grows and cut some of it to create holes for more carpenter bees to use as houses, to retire to in the evening after their busy days of buzzing and bumbling. Carpenter bees are those big, big black bees that fly really fast that you see sometimes. They don't live in hives, but they seem pretty sociable with one another. The black ones are the girls. If you ever see a golden one, well it's like seeing a unicorn, it's that rare a sighting; they are the boys.
One time I was cutting the bamboo and then came back to see that all the bamboo canes had been taken as homes by the carpenter bees. Each cane that I looked into had its own bee girl in residence. And they really didn't care for me looking down in to their homes. Seriously a little unnerving to realize a shy bee recognizes your presence and wishes like everything that you would get out. For that reason, I've only got this one picture from today. There were at least 5-6 bees buzzing overhead in the bamboo grass, but not very easy to get pictures of, and they all wanted to fly into their apartments and probably turn on their tvs and make a themselves a drink or something. So I didn't stick around for long.
*not really bamboo, but i forget the name for it and it does look like bamboo. anyways, you see that hole/cut there in the bamboo? that's where she lives, the carpenter bee.
I've read about this family before, the Dervaes, who live in Pasadena and grow thousands of pounds of food on about a tenth of an acre and live in really sustainable ways. They sell the food to area restaurants. So then I was reading the Sunday New York Times magazine from last week online and there is this video about them. The two sisters seem like girls I would like to know.
I wish I had bought the paper last week, they call it the Green Issue & it seems packed full of such interesting stuff. There's an article by Michael Pollan that I haven't read yet. And here is something that makes me ask Really? Really? and is intriguing and funny at the same time:
SWEAT EQUITY: Many people go to the gym to become more powerful. But at California Fitness in
Hong Kong, an Asian-based subsidiary of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, exercisers are actually powering the gym. The program, “Powered by YOU,” was conceived by Doug Woodring, a Wharton grad, and Lucien Gambarota, a French inventor, who run an alternative-energy company in Hong Kong. When a member begins to exercise, the machine she uses captures the energy she creates as electricity (which would otherwise be lost as heat) and uses it to run a light above the machine. Gambarota says that a person can produce 50 watts of electricity per hour working out at a moderate pace. “If you spend just an hour per day on a machine annually, you could generate 18.3 kilowatt-hours of electricity,” he says. That’s the equivalent of powering a three-bedroom home in New Jersey for 14 hours. Since the program made its debut last year, 13 exercise machines have been hooked up; the chain plans to extend the project to its 24 other clubs throughout Asia. - ABBY ELLIN