DAY 14 –BEE DANCE – 3 of 3 installments:  Karl von Frisch’s research on interpreting the bee dance is fascinating. He concluded the angle the bee assumes in the hive is relative to gravity corresponding to the angle to the sun that the bee flew on its path to the nectar source.  Finally, the speed at which the bee shakes its hindquarters back and forth – which is the waggle part – indicates the distance to the nectar.

frisch_web In spite of a Nobel Prize, Karl von Frisch’s work remains at the center of a heated debate on insect communication. “The hype was enormous,” says historian of science Tania Munz, who is currently working on a book about Karl von Frisch. “The discovery that animals could communicate in such detail and, moreover, symbolically caused a sensation,” says Munz. “However, von Frisch’s discovery also brought up some serious questions about the self-image of humans. If even such lowly animals as insects can communicate so brilliantly, what were the implications for the perceived difference between animals and humans? For centuries, language had been the sole preserve of humans (at least as far as humans were concerned). It was seen as the boundary that divided homo sapiens from the other living organisms on earth. Von Frisch’s findings eroded this self-image. My! How fragile our collective human ego must be!

RECIPE 14 – HONEY BOARD BARBEQUE SAUCE was one of the first recipes put out by the National Honey Board in the late 1980’s. It’s a standard today

INGREDIENTS: 1 can condensed tomato soup or 15 ounces of homemade tomato soup that is cooked down to a thickBarbeque sauce sauce / ½ cup honey – use a strong, flavorful late summer wildflower honey / 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce / 2-3 tbsp salad oil / 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice / 1 tsp mustard – yellow or Dijon / dash cayenne or bottled hot pepper sauce.

DIRECTIONS: Cook on the stove.

In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Use as a barbecue sauce on the grill, being careful not to burn it. Don’t apply the barbeque sauce too early, wait until the meat or fish is nearly cooked through. It may also be used as a dipping sauce.

SOURCE: US National Honey Board recipe as interpreted by Kim Flottum for the Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook, Quarry Books 2009


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