‘Do You Like Jazz?’

If you understand the reference in the headline, then I apologize. That said, don’t bother looking it up because it’s from a pretty bad film. Anyway, this post actually relates to our trip to the La Casa de les Abelles — aka the House of Bees!

I had never bee-n to honey farm, so I was very excited to wear the white puffy coats and try some fresh honey. There we learned facts about the bees, such as their role in agriculture and their family conduct. Apparently the bees have multiple classes or jobs from cleaner to gatherer to queen. Also, bees are un-bee-lievably smart creatures, as evidenced by the following:

  • If a bee dies in the hive, its body is promptly removed from the home in order to prevent bacterial growth.
  • A scout bee leaves its home and find a nice flower to gather pollen from. It twists and turns everywhere to get to these flowers, but when it finally finds a suitable one, it’s able to fly straight home using the shortest route.
  • Depending on the region, bee nests look different because the weather varies. In Brazil their nests hang from trees with the entrance on the bottom to prevent the rain from entering. Elsewhere, bees can use expired tree trunks of roof tiles.
  • This doesn’t  relate to bees being intelligent, but apparently multiple queen larvae are laid, and the first to emerge will eventually kill her sisters, bee-coming the sole queen.

Again I can’t believe I get to experience something so bizarre as watching where honey comes from. You hear about honey coming from bees, but seeing them thriving as well as the machines to collect the honey is very fascinating.

I’m very grateful for this program and I’m excited to see more!

Gustavo Aburto is a foods and nutrition major. He is studying abroad this summer in Barcelona, Spain.

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