As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Mrs. Obama Invites Children to White House to get Stung by Bees

Okay, I’m just having some fun here, alright? Leave me alone.

But, uh, you know. If my kid were going to this event, I’d want to know whether we’re taking any precautions . . .

Because the White House put out the notice last night: First Lady Michelle Obama to Harvest the White House Kitchen Garden, Highlight Pollinators

Okay, pollinators. Personally, I’m allergic to certain pollinators, and these delightful creatures do get angry sometimes and turn their attention from the pastoral pursuit of flowers to inflicting venomous stings on human victims.

From the White House:

The First Lady will welcome students from across the country who participate in the ten Let’s Move! sub-initiative programs to harvest the White House Kitchen Garden . . . This garden harvest will highlight the important role of pollinators in the healthy food that we grow and consume. Last year, Mrs. Obama planted a pollinator garden next to the White House Kitchen Garden to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators as part of Administration efforts to promote pollinator health.

Just as I suspected. They’re trying to spin this as also a butterfly event, but we know “pollinators” means bees.

Pollinators play a critical role in supporting agricultural production, and they are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we take. Because pollinators are facing disturbing signs of decline from a variety of causes, important efforts are underway to support pollinator health and habitat.

Okay, that’s all true. I mean, I can’t say I awaken in the morning fretting about the decline of bees, but I do salute the first lady for addressing the issue. Also, might I suggest, if things plants aren’t being sufficiently pollinated, eating more meat

This year, W. Atlee Burpee & Co. donated one million pollinator seed packets to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior to encourage people to plant pollinator gardens in communities across the country. Nearly 30,000 of these seed packets were distributed to families at this year’s Easter Egg Roll. As well, the newly established National Pollinator Garden Network is launching on Wednesday the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of pollinators.

Well, I thank Mr. Burpee, Mr. Slurpee, and anyone else who is working to solve this problem. Although I have noticed fewer yellow jackets around in recent years, which gives me some comfort that there is less chance I will be stung and suffer a slow, wrenching death as my gills swell and seal off my supply of oxygen. But still, I get that the earth needs bees more than it needs me. So go for it.

Just, I won’t be covering the event.

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33 Responses to Mrs. Obama Invites Children to White House to get Stung by Bees

  1. I have a big bee hive in a birds nest in my backyard. My neigbor and I spent an hour 1/2 trying to clean them out. A lot of running! Once they seemed to all be out of the birdhouse. I took one of the gadgets to turn meat with to pull out old bird nest stuff. To my surprise I pulled out portion of bee’s honey comb. Later that day I told a relative what I did. They said there is a collapse of bee colonies.
    So….. The next day more bees are in the birdhouse.
    Now I have to choose to feel bad and clean them out some more, or leave them stay, and run by with the lawn mower when I am cutting grass. :)

    • Call a beekeeper and they will get them out for you.
      Your relative is referring to CCD, (colony collapse disorder).
      It’s a malady that they get where they can’t find their way back to their hive, therefore the hive collapses.
      They don’t know what causes it yet.

    • BTW Lee, they won’t leave until the Queen is removed.
      That’s where the beekeeper comes into play.
      That’s why they’re in there. They always follow the Queen and she picked your birdhouse to set up shop.

    • I agree with AFVet. Find a beekeeper to fix the problem. I had four bee hives when I was in high school, and they are one of the most interesting, complicated, smart and fascinating critters in all of nature. You have to learn how to handle them, what to look for to maintain the hives and how to make them happy ;+}. Happy bees=happy honey.

      • My Dad was a beekeeper for many years, and I helped him many times.
        You cannot get rid of them by sticking tools into the hive, it only pisses them off.

        • And a pissed off hive of bees is something you don’t want near you. You can’t outrun them, as I soon learned as a youngster.

        • No. never knew that. Amazing stuff, honey. Just about never goes bad, probably why it’s a good antiseptic. I’m sure your Dad told you about the “bee dance” and how they communicate within the hive. But for those who hadn’t heard of this before, here’s a site. Prepare to be amazed.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ijI-g4jHg

          • Yes they are teaching the other bees where the pollen is.
            They are fascinating creatures.
            They also glue everything shut in the hive in order to protect their precious honey.

  2. I wanted to raise some bees for my garden and to enjoy the deliciousness of their work. But, the guberment said I wasn’t zoned for that. I guess they think my 1/2 ac partially wooded lot backed up to a swamp isn’t suitable for those types of drones.

  3. What is ready to harvest on June 3 in the Northeast – lettuce? Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that snow fluttered over everything there or was that global something.

    About the 1mm seed packets donated by Burpee: what happened to the remaining 997,000 packets?
    I would be remiss if I didn’t add that the WhiteHouse Kitchen Garden is only a means for a photo-op showing MrsO as a 1950’s frugal, midwest housewife.
    Someone should tell her that it doesn’t play out here in fly-over country.

      • DC is in Growing Zone 7, more or less, so there’s some stuff up and ready. Perhaps peas if you planted them early enough. Lettuce, probably. Little carrots, radishes, likely. Dandelion greens for sure are up. Maybe early potatoes. Perhaps early peas. Fiddlehead greens and beet greens have been harvested for a few weeks. I’m probably forgetting something. Zone 7 is pretty warm compared to Maine–Growing Zones 4 and 5 (mostly) here. More stuff is ready in the deep and mid-South, of course. I became a certified Master Gardener a few years ago, and I always get that question—“What can I plant now?”– from new gardeners. I just last week got my full vegetable garden in–a little late this year because of the cool weather. Good grief, even today, June 2, it’s only 45 degrees. Globull warming ain’t working for us here.

        • Dandelion greens.
          That reminds me of when my wife and I visited Mt. Vernon.
          They had a garden patch that included a plot of dandelions that they used for greens.
          Now, the people kill them with weed killer.

          • Dandelion greens got lotsa good stuff in them–calcium and iron and vitamin K, as I remember. I never, ever use insecticide or pesticides on anything I grow. Not even on the lawn. Gets into the town water system eventually, let alone what it does to humans who come in direct contact. Never have used the stuff..

    • If you remember, when Michelle planted her vegetable garden, they had to redo it because they found LEAD, no less, in the soil. She (or whoever was doing the actual work for her) did NOT do a soil test before planting–an absolutely critical first step in a new garden spot. You test for toxins, existing nutrients (for whatever you plan to grow in that spot) and general condition of the soil. You can then amend the soil depending on what you want to grow there. I always recommend–demand, even–new gardeners do a soil test Period. The Extension Service in your area is always associated with your State University’s agricultural school. I’m a Master Gardener, so I can get away with demanding a soil test. ;+}).

      It’s easy to do. You get a soil testing kit from from your local Extension Service for 10-15 bucks, and send the soil samples you collect to the Extension Service. They do a complete lab workup and you get the results in a week or two. Simple. Saves you lots of grief and wasted time trying to guess what to add to your soil or amend in any way.

  4. Michelle Obama — it must be nice to spend every day making yourself the center of adulation.

    What the heck are “the ten Let’s Move! sub-initiative programs” and are only urban kids involved?

  5. Oh, I didn´t know that you are allergic, Keith. That can be serious and I won´t poke fun at you and your “bee-paranoia”. But- I am a great friend of the bees, I keep two hives in our garden, wait a minute, now we have three, my husband just added one.

  6. Interesting –

    “Last year, Mrs. Obama planted a pollinator garden next to the White House Kitchen Garden to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators as part of Administration efforts to promote pollinator health.”

    Here, I fixed it –

    Last year, National Park Service grounds keepers (while under the eagle eye of MOTUS) planted a pollinator garden next to the White House Kitchen Garden to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators as part of Administration efforts to promote pollinator health.