When my youngest daughter was still a toddler, I trained her to answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with the word ‘entomologist’. This was purely for my own amusement. I know you can’t live out your dreams through your children. (The older daughter was trained to say ‘astronaut’). Besides, people don’t usually ask that question of toddlers.
But somehow, my daughter managed to regurgitate that word when her kindergarten teacher asked her that question. I saw the teacher at back-to-school night, and she very excitedly told me of my progeny’s entomological leanings. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’d taught her to parrot this. The teacher thought she had a little genius on her hands. As it turns out, my daughter is quite smart, but she’s 13 now and wants to be a baker, mostly of cakes. I’ve no doubt she’ll succeed.
Still, I’ve always been fascinated with insects. Bees, ants, mosquitoes and cockroaches are my favorites. So I was quite disturbed back in October of 2007 when I saw a show on Nature about the disappearance of the honeybees. Colony Collapse Disorder made lots of headlines after that show aired. But then, of course, it kind of disappeared from the news.
I’ve been trying to keep an eye on it, but while there are lots of theories, there don’t seem to be many answers yet. When the clover patch in my yard turned green in the spring, I actively looked for bees and only saw a few. There should have been more.
So today I came across an article called The Bees’ Needs on the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) website. It offers tips on what individuals can do to help such as planting local vegetation rather than exotic imports. The last tip on building nests for wood-nesting bees looks simple enough. I’m going to give it a try.