Friday, July 31, 2009

Three Bee Salad

Many people can't distinguish between honeybees, bumblebees, and yellow jackets. It's a bummer for the bees, because yellow jackets are nasty little things. Bees-- honey, bumble or otherwise-- are, on the other hand, fuzzy, cute, and hardworking.

The honeybee, seen below, collects pollen from flowers for honey. The chubby bumblebee also collects flower nectar for honey, although she produces far less than her petite cousin. Do the bees inadvertently pollinate? Or do they have a deal worked out with the flowers?
The yellow jacket, sleek, hairless, and yellow-faced, is a predator. She lives in a dusty nest made from wood, not wax. She will happily eat the rest of last week's pulled pork sandwich from the dumpster. No flowers for this girl.

After the Michael Jackson incident, I take pride in the fact that every single photo on this blog (except the humping bees) was taken by my trusty Canon. In an attempt to remain in this same vein, I tried and failed to capture a yellow jacket in action on my camera. Those suckers are quick! Instead, I created my own picture of a yellow jacket on stray cardboard (to represent garbage,) using my yellow and black nail polishes:
As you can obviously see from this anatomically and politically correct diagram, yellow jackets are more yellow than honeybees, and at least this one bumblebee. (Many bumblebees are more yellowy than this one.) They have these creepy, dangly, yellow legs that create the impression of a skulking hunter.

Yellow jackets are aggressive, and their sting registers a 2.0 on the sting scale, described as "W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue." Most people who have been stung by a yellow-and-black insect have most likely been stung by a yellow jacket. So back off the bees!


  1. I love pulled pork sandwiches

    -yj sympathizer

  2. I have also fallen victim to the yellow jacket! You can have my pulled pork sandwich as long as you keep your distance!