God Save the Queen is a tile I've made in support of efforts to save honeybees.
In folklore, across medieval Europe an important part of any major event (such as births, deaths or marriages) was the ritual 'telling of the bees'. The beekeeper must inform the honey bees of any major family news in a calm and polite fashion or they would desert the hive.
And the Queen may save you: Perhaps you have heard of the Africanized Honeybee or "Killer Bees"? In 1950, a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong sought to take the best of the African bee's shorter reproductive cycle with the European honeybee's prowess as a pollinator. But the hybrid bees were aggressive maurauders who quickly escaped their quarantine around Rio de Janeiro, spreading across South America and then northward. They are well into the southwest United States and threaten California's Central Valley. Male killer bees often mate with easy-going European queen bees so there is hope that peaceful genes will prevail.
The Queen Bee is available on both 6-inch and 4-inch marble tiles. Because the design does not cover the entire tile, natural patterns in the marble will make each unique. Some tiles have more "character" than others, meaning that the edges may not be perfect or other uniqueness about the tile. Because so much of the natural tile is revealed in this design, I try to chose tiles with lots of character. Nothing natural is perfect.
The bee design on four-inch tiles covers slightly more of the natural stone design.
The bee tile is priced considerably lower than comparable tiles here. My intention is to encourage you to donate to a charity to save the honeybees, or to have a little extra to plant your own bee garden. If you don't have space for a garden, consider taking some wildflower mix when you next go to the mountains.
4 inch square tiles: $52
6 inch square tiles: $62
There are more than 25,000 different types of bee species. Four thousand of these species exist in the U.S.. In Europe and the U.S., bee populations have decreased by 20% to 80% in the past few years, due to incurable bee diseases and irresponsible human activities, and the activities of encroaching civilization, and genetic modifications of both bees and food.
Bees can detect weak static or low-frequency magnetic fields, which they use as one of several cues in navigation. There is conflicting research whether or not this contributes to Colony Collapse Disorder, in which all of the worker bees abandon their hive unexpectedly.
Bees are the most important pollinators -- an average bee colony of 30,000 honey bees can attend to up to 2 millions flowers a day. Thirty percent of food directly consumed by people are produced due to bee pollination. Indirectly, fodder for animals is also dependent on bees.
Bee visits to gardens increase when there are 10 or more different varieties of flowers that they like. They especially like tall plants, plants with daisy-like flowers. So foxgloves, daisies, Russian sage, sunflowers, anise, zinnias. But also flowering fruit trees and vines.
Bee's Knees wildflower seed mix.
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