A recent Punahou Bulletin article described a new campus Rocky Hill apiary and how the study of bees is being integrated into the K-12 curriculum. Interesting. But Rocky Hill isn’t the only place where bees are abuzz on campus.
Stepping off the #4 bus for my Friday work at Punahou, I was pleased to see that the night-blooming cereus were doing what they do best: putting on a show at Punahou. Despite the lateness of the hour (it was nearing 10 a.m.) and the flowers impending closure after their night’s furious display, I decided to stroll up Punahou Street to take a look at the beauty that remained.
Although it was not one of the “choke” blooms that are the stuff of legend, each and every blossom was wonderful in its own right. And one of the things that was great about seeing them in the morning is the different nature of the experience.
While full and ethereal in the evening, the cereus are a magnet in the morning for bees. There the workers are, flying from flower to flower, searching for a way into the rapidly closing blooms and ready to swallow themselves into a glowing pearlescent world. Once inside they clamber among the stamens to powder themselves with the pollen within.
Given the busyness of the scene, I have to wonder what kind of honey they might be making. If the flowers were in more constant supply that honey might be a delectable treat that we humans would savor as much as the bees savor the flowers of the morning.
Take a look at these industrious insects in the slide show below. Each photo includes at least one worker bee hard at work. Can you find her?
How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower.
~ Isaac Watts, Against Idleness