“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” ~Mohammad Ali
Let’s face it, bees in general get a bad wrap in the movie world. No wonder so many people have apiphobia, i.e., the fear of bees.
What are some movies where bees are prominent in the plot?
Hunger Games: Those nasty tracker jackers, developed by The Capital in The Hunger Games actually killed off a few tributes and caused Katniss to have some bizarre hallucinations to boot. She had to use care while cutting down their hive since the trackers were designed to focus and go after whoever disturbed them. Without the tracker attack, she would not gotten the bow and arrow she really wanted and needed.
My Girl: Thomas J., Vada’s buddy, was ‘allergic to everything.’ The scene where he goes looking for Vada’s lost ring builds to its crescendo with just a few bees buzzing a warning to a full-on attack he cannot survive. Who didn’t cry when Vada walked into Thomas J.’s funeral?
Fried Green Tomatoes: Idgie Threadgoode, also know as the bee charmer, walks through swirls of flying bees to retrieve a cone of honey. Actually, Mary Stuart Masterson did her own stunt for that scene as her double had abruptly quit. The bee charmer visits again in a pivotal scene near the end of the movie, leaving a jar of fresh honey on Ruth’s grave.
Returning to reality, what are some benefits of bees?
Honey bees: There are around 300 different types of honey in the US. The lighter colored honey is milder in taste than the dark types, which are quite high in antioxidants. Some of the benefits of honey include aiding in digestion as it contains natural enzymes, as a sweetener, and as a sleeping agent. Plus, honey is used in cosmetics, as it’s good for skin. Clover honey helps with cough reduction (hot tea with honey and lemon is a standby to sooth a raw throat) and helps with blood pressure and cholesterol issues.
Some other fun facts about honeybees include:
- Their sting can ease rheumatoid arthritis pain
- They are the only insects that make a food we eat
- Honey is a food that can sustain life
- Its wings beat is about 200 times a second, causing the buzzing sound
- It can fly about six miles at a speed of 15 miles per hour
- A queen bee can live up to five years; however, a worker bee’s life expectancy is only about six weeks
Wasps are a natural pest controller. They protect crops by controlling bugs such as grubs, weevils, and other pests who feed off of growing vegetables. They also help in pollination.
Dirt daubers are a type of wasp that builds their nest from dirt, hence the name. They are generally solitary and enjoy spiders as their primary meal.
Bumblebees are the workhorses of pollination; about two-thirds of pollination is from their work. Bumblebees are not very aggressive and would just as soon not be around people. They can fly an impressive 40 miles per hour in windy conditions.
All in all, bees provide a great many benefits. We can all agree that nothing tastes quite as good as a hot biscuit dripping with butter and honey, along with a steaming cup of coffee to get the day started. Now, that’s a great way to get going! Thanks to bees!