HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Bumblebees were a sight to behold on the lawn of the Houston Science Museum.
It was a rare sight back then, as the colony of the tiny bee had been wiped out by disease, overpopulation and pollution.
“We have a lot of problems right now in our country,” said Mary Estrada, a museum curator.
“There are more than 6 million of them now, which means there are a lot more of them out there that we’re not seeing.
And that means they have a big impact on our environment, our health and the environment of the next generation.
When I look at the bumbling bee, I don’t think of a giant creature,” said Estradas.
“I think of the little girl who was just a little girl.”
In 1774, the babbling bee was introduced into Texas.
Its arrival created a lot for Texans.
In 1789, the colony was able to start flowering and expand to a whopping 30,000 bees.
The bees’ arrival also helped drive the formation of the first cities in the United States.
Nowadays, the hive is so prolific that scientists have dubbed it the bee capital of the world.
There are now more than 300 million bees in the U.S., according to the U and Canada, and the number is expected to grow to 500 million by 2035.
But that’s not all the bowing bees did for Texas.
In the 1700s, Texas was home to the largest colony of honey bees in North America.
That’s because of the large quantities of pollen they produce.
Texas was one of the main hubs of European honey beekeeping, but by the early 1800s, it was losing colonies to other states and to the British.
By the turn of the 20th century, the British were leading the world in honey production.
But by the turn in the century, there was a big crisis for Texas, which lost an estimated 5 million honey bees per year.
Bees were being wiped out, and their pollinators had declined dramatically.
At that point, a solution was in sight: build a honeybee hospital.
As Texas became a hive state, the idea was to build a hive with bees that could live outside of the hive and support the pollinators.
A hive hospital was a solution that could support and protect the bees that were now suffering.
This hospital was constructed in 1891 in the heart of the city.
According to historian and author Mary E. McQuillan, it’s where we all learned to care for and love the bees.
It was called the Honey Bee Hospital.
McQuillans book, Honey Bee City, tells the story of the building of the Honey City Hospital.
The city was originally named for a city in Virginia, but was named after the bee colony.
Honey City was a city that could grow a lot.
It’s where people learned to love bees and cared for the bees in it.
McQuills book is a fascinating read.
She writes that the city was a hive city that grew from a single hive to thousands of hive cities that fed off each other.
The bees that lived there were the same ones that died in the Great Bee Disease pandemic.
After the pandemic, the city grew by 50% to a hive that now has 2,000,000 honey bees.
McQuellans book tells the tale of the honey bee hospital that grew and thrived on that colony.