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Our Natural World: Bees Buzzing at Rip's

Bees buzzing at Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds

 I saw bees! 

The bees are buzzing at Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds!

We don’t normally have more bees than anywhere else. However, for a couple of weeks this year, it seemed like there are much more bees buzzing around. And the reason is… (drumroll please) 

 ● The dry weather 

 ● Love is in the air at Rip Van Winkle (Well, it is bee mating season.) 

The species of bees found across the Catskills are called the Baled Faced Hornet. These bees are closely related to Wasps and Yellow jackets. 

Here are a few interesting facts about these little creatures:

  • Bees are only be super active for a few weeks. No one ever knows when that will be, other than that it is in late summer/early fall.
  • They have five eyes. 
  • They have two pairs of wings. 
  • They can fly as fast as 20 mph. 
  • Male bees in the hive are called drones. 
  • Female bees living in the hive are called worker bees (besides the queen, of course). 
  • Bees have been around for roughly 30 million years! 
  • An average beehive can hold about 50,000 bees. 
  • They carry pollen on their hind legs in a pollen basket or corbicula. 
  • Bees are important because they pollinate approximately 130 crops in the U.S., including fiber, fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. 
  • These little creatures are very important for the ecosystem, they won’t be around for long, and they are more of a nuisance than anything else, so now you know. 

No one likes getting stung by a bee, sure. But if you see these little fellas buzzing around Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds, don't swat at them! If you attack bees, they'll go into defense mode and that's when you might get stung. Instead, calmly move away from the bees until you're at a safe distance. It's best to walk in a straight line, too! 


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