Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Doctored One(


Contemporary bagpipes can have as many as seven tubes emanating from the instrument's body--the chanter and up to six other tubes called drones, which provide a continuous harmony. These tubes are fitted with reeds--either single as on clarinets or double as on oboes and bassoons.

Hubble Bumble

In the spring a young bumblebee queen seeks a place suitable for building her nest. It may be a hole in the ground, a small pile of grass or debris, or the abandoned nest of a bird, mouse, ant, or termite. Using wax secreted from her abdomen, she makes a honeypot and fills it with nectar from flowers. Then she makes a cell, lays a few eggs in it, seals it, and sits on it like a brooding hen.

In two more weeks newly formed bees, pale, weak, and wet, crawl out to feed at the honeypot. In a few days they are bright and fluffy and can help care for the new larvae that their mother has been tending in newly built cells.

In late summer, after the queen has raised many workers to feed the young and to forage, new young queens and drones are also raised. Some males develop from unfertilized eggs laid by the queen, but most hatch from eggs laid by workers. The drones seek out the new queens and mate with them on the ground or in the air near it.

In the fall the old queen stops laying eggs, and when the weather turns cold, she dies along with all her workers and drones. The mated young queens leave the nest to find a sheltered place to hibernate, usually in the ground. When spring comes, they will emerge to seek suitable places for building their nests. Thus the cycle is repeated.

Bing, Being, Boeing, Beijing, Bang