On The Bricks

May 4, 2020

Nobody is more famous for being busy than the bee and the beaver. The Book of Bizarre Truth works out which is busiest.

In the course of its lifetime, a single worker bee will make 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. This does not seem like much, but each bee is contributing to a hive that has teens of thousands of bees. Their combined effort adds up fast.

That same bee will leave the hive ten times a day; will travel up to a mile and a half from the hive on any one of these trips; and will carry about 113% of its own body weight in pollen and nectar every time it returns to the hive. At the end of the day, a worker bee will have transported 1,130% of it’s body weight. That’s a busy bee.

Beavers live in colonies of six to eight and build dams and the lodges where they live. A beaver’s productivity is dependent on its environment. The size of a dam depends on the number of beavers it houses. At night, the beavers leave the lodge and commence work on the dam, repairing damage incurred during the daylight hours and increasing the height of the dam if the water level appears to have risen.

A single beaver can fell a six – inch – diameter aspen tree in about 20 minutes. It then gnaws the tree into logs of a more manageable size and drags these logs back to the river. A beaver can transport a log weighing about 100% of its own body weight, but it often uses the river to aid in the wood gathering process by floating logs downstream toward the dam.

While beavers live longer (up to 15 years in the wild) and have a great effect on their environment (second only to humans), the winner in this productivity showdown seems to be the bee. A bee’s every action has a profound place in nature’s big picture.

Its true beavers work smart. They have the capacity to size up a river and design a dam according to depth, width, and the speed of the current. When they’re not working on the dam or the lodge, they are gathering food to store for the winter. But in terms of sheer productivity, based on their brief time on the earth, bees take the prize.

Over the course of 45 days, the summer life – span of a garden variety honeybee, a worker will move about 50,000% of its own weight in nectar and pollen. The worker bee spends its every waking moment dedicated to its job, all so other animals can steal the honey it produces.

          Famous Okie information: The official Oklahoma state insect is the honeybee.

          Just FYI: Honey was used to pay taxes in ancient Rome.

          More FYI: Bees have five eyes. There are three small eyes on the top of a bee’s head and two larger eyes in front.

          Loving these FYIs:  Honeybees can lay as many as 1,500 eggs in a single day.

          And yet more bee FYI: Newly hatched queen bees fight to the death to kill all other newly hatched, and unhatched, queens, until only one is left standing. There can only be one queen in a hive.

Keep going on your New Year’s resolutions: Cook more this year. It’s therapeutic and cost effective.

Made me laugh: You’re not completely useless. You can always serve as a bad example.

          See you on the bricks soon!