August 23, 2017: Pollinators Special Edition


Our website will update again on August 30, 2017


This week we are all about Bees, Butterflies and other pollinators and why these smallest of the lesser brethren are so important to the survival of human and animal kind

Did you know?

That…for the first time EVER in the United States a Bumble Bee is now on the “endangered species” list?

After much debate, and some delay from the Trump Administration, the rusty patched bumblebee was officially added to the list in late March — a full month after the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recommended the insect be added. Just 20 years ago, the rusty patched bumblebee was a common sight across 28 states from Connecticut to South Dakota, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces. Since the late 1990s, the rusty patched bumblebee has experienced a swift and dramatic decline, leaving only a few small, scattered populations in nine U.S. states and one Canadian province, according to the USFWS. The endangered designation means that the rusty patched bumblebee is in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or a portion of its range.


Good News

‘Laudato Si’ Inspires Beekeeping Club at Ossining School

When bees buzz nearby, the first reaction of students at St. Augustine’s School in Ossining isn’t to swat them in fear. It’s more than likely they will look at the little creatures calmly and with respect for what they do for the environment.

The club meets once a week to take care of two beehives. They are kept on isolated grounds behind the rectory. “The parish is on 35 acres and the spot gets the morning sun, which the bees need. It works out perfectly,” said Father Brian McSweeney, pastor of St. Augustine’s parish and a big supporter of the club.


In the News

If it weren’t for pollinators

Birds, bees, wasps, bats, butterflies, beetles – these small pollinating animals are responsible for providing us with food, fibers, medicines, and more. Pollination occurs when pollen is moved from one flower to another of the same species, allowing fertilization to occur. With the help of pollinators, our ecosystems thrive and continue to produce the valuable goods we depend on.


Picture of the Week

Bees are nearly ubiquitous, occurring on every continent except Antarctica. Wherever there are insect-pollinated flowering plants — forest, farms, cities and wildlands — there are bees. And just because you don’t see plants blooming, does not mean that there are no bees around. There are nearly 20,000 known bee species in the world, and 4,000 of them are native to the United States. From the tiny and solitary Perdita minima, known as the world’s smallest bee, to the large carpenter bee, to the brilliant blue of the mason bee; native bees come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. And all these bees have jobs, as pollinators.

Ask Susi

Q: My parish priest told me that “we (meaning the Catholic Church) do not believe that animals go to heaven, because they have no souls.” But, my heart and faith in Jesus tells me otherwise. Is what he said true?

A: This is perhaps the most epic question I am asked, in numerous and varying contexts. Countless books and articles have been given over to the question of animals in heaven and there is the long and short of it, depending on where you really want to go. So, I will answer the initial question, and follow it with an abridged explanation for the positive.


Susi Weekly Column

The Monarch Butterfly–The Journey Less Traveled

~by Susi Pittman

It is the most well-known butterfly of North America and it needs your help. Consider growing its favorite plants in your garden and it will visit you each migration.


Catholic Journeyman

Watching My Little Friends

~by Louis Templeman

The joy of feeding wild birds can only be surpassed by watching them consume the bounty you have prepared for them. Stewardship of God’s creatures evokes an appreciation for the Creator.


Meandering Along the River’s Edge

Citizen Scientists

~by Virginia Rhys Anson, OFS

Have you ever thought of being a Citizen Scientist? It’s easy and it can be extremely rewarding. Ginny has some great suggestions to get you involved!


Weekly Commentary

Decline of pollinators poses threat to world food supply

~by John Schwartz

Pollinators, including some 20,000 species of wild bees, contribute to the growth of fruit, vegetables and many nuts, as well as flowering plants. Plants that depend on pollination make up 35 percent of global crop production volume with a value of as much as $577 billion a year. The agricultural system, for which pollinators play a key role, creates millions of jobs worldwide.

Many pollinator species are threatened with extinction, including some 16 percent of vertebrates like birds and bats, according to the document. Hummingbirds and some 2,000 avian species that feed on nectar spread pollen as they move from flower to flower.


Catholic Writers

Association of Catholic Women Bloggers ACWB

Melanie Jean Juneau has been the administrator of ACWB since the summer of 2013. She is a wife, writer and mother of nine children who blogs at joyofnine9. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine kids seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it.

Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life, especially a life lived in God.

Melanie is a columnist weekly at CatholicMom, monthly at Catholic Lane, bimonthly at Catholic Stand and Catholic Attachment Parenting Corner.


Recommended Read

A Sorrow Shared

~by Henri J.M.Nouwen

In a first-ever combined English edition of Nouwen classics In Memoriam and A Letter of Consolation, this beloved spiritual giant of the twentieth century explores the depths of his grief and writes tenderly and wisely to his bereaved father, yearning for the light of Christ in the darkness of loss and sorrow. In Memoriam, Nouwen’s intimate, deeply touching account of his mother’s death, offers a gentle invitation to all those in grief to open themselves to a deeper sense of faith and trust in God. A Letter of Consolation—in which Nouwen writes to his father six months after his mother’s death—ponders the journey of bereavement itself.


Quote of the Week

Pleasing words are a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and healthful to the body.

~Proverbs 16: 24~

Our Catholic Saints

Saint Rita of Cascia

Geology and Archaeology

How prehistoric bee proved lifeline to the past

A prehistoric bee that lived at least 25 million years ago before drowning in a blob of sticky tree resin has provided scientists with proof that the “dead” can be brought back to life.

Inside the gut of the bee lived bacteria which helped the insect to digest its food. It is the spores of these bacteria that scientists have been able to revive in a series of startling experiments demonstrating that truth is stranger than fiction, even the fiction of Jurassic Park.


World Climate Issues

Bees & Climate Change

Climate change could be affecting pollination by disrupting the synchronized timing of flower opening and bee emergence from hibernation, suggests new US-based research. Declining numbers of bees and other pollinators have been causing growing concern in recent years, as scientists fear that decreased pollination could have major impacts on world food supplies.


Global Weather

What do Bees do in Winter?

When winter rolls around, bears hibernate and birds fly south, but what about the bees? Like every other creature on earth, bees have their own unique ways of coping with cold temperatures during the winter season. One way bees prepare for the winter is by gathering a winter reserve of honey.



Sustainable Bee Keeping Courses to Start–UK

This course will teach you fascinating new ways to keep and care for bees in a more sustainable way. This course is perfect for beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike and has plenty of practical experience in the Humble by Nature apiary. It is run by Monmouth-based international charity, Bees for Development.



Bumblebee Conservation Trust–Scotland

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was established because of serious concerns about the ‘plight of the bumblebee’. In the last 80 years our bumblebee populations have crashed. Two species have become nationally extinct and several others have declined dramatically.

Bumblebees are familiar and much-loved insects that pollinate our crops and wildflowers, so people are rightly worried. We have a vision for a different future in which our communities and countryside are rich in bumblebees and colorful flowers, supporting a diversity of wildlife and habitats for everyone to enjoy. A growing number of committed supporters are helping our small team of staff make a big difference. We have over 10,000 members and are growing fast.



Decline of bees poses potential risks to major crops, says U.N.

Populations of bees, butterflies and other species important for agricultural pollination are declining, posing potential risks to major world crops, a UN body on biodiversity said Friday.

“Many wild bees and butterflies have been declining in abundance, occurrence and diversity at local and regional scales in Northwest Europe and North America,” said an assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).


God’s Green Earth

The Queen Bee

Farm News

Bee Friendly Farming

Bee Friendly Farming (BFF) is a program that provides guidelines for farmers and growers interested in promoting pollinator health on their lands​.​ Bee Friendly Farming is an online, self-certification program​ created by Kathy Kellison and other experts (Sam Droege, Mace Vaughn, Dennis vanEnglesdorp, Marla Spivak, Randy Oliver, Robbin Thorp, Karen Strickler, Gerry Miller, Jeff Anderson, Phil Giles, and Gene Brandi​). Bee Friendly Farming was also known as Partners for Sustainable Pollination (PFSP) and has now merged with Pollinator Partnership. The two organizations entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2013 to create the BFF-S.H.A.R.E. (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment) partnership. This was a great step forward for the BFF program as those who enroll in the S.H.A.R.E. program will also now be made aware of the option of further recognition through certification as a Bee Friendly Farm or Garden.


Steward Alerts

Vatican delegate: Medjugorje to be recognized exists

A Polish archbishop appointed by Pope Francis to study the pastoral situation surrounding Medjugorje says the apparitions in the Bosnian town could be recognized by the Vatican later this year.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser was appointed by the pope in February to study the pastoral care given to the town’s residents and visiting pilgrims.

Hoser told the KAI Catholic news agency that “from a pastoral point of view, there is a very positive result.”

“My mission was not to make a judgement on Medjugorje, but to evaluate whether the pastoral ministry was proper and consistent with the doctrine and teaching of the Church; and effective and well organized. I concluded that this is the case,” the archbishop said.


Steward Activities

You Can Help SAVE Pollinators

Pollinators are in trouble. These important wildlife move from plant to plant while searching for protein-rich pollen or high-energy nectar to eat. As they go, they are dusted by pollen and move it to the next flower, fertilizing the plant and allowing it to reproduce and form seeds, berries, fruits and other plant foods that form the foundation of the food chain for other species—including humans.


A Song Before the Lord

Creation Sings the Father’s Song


Designing a Bee Friendly Garden

Inviting an array of bees into your own backyard is simple when you plant their favorite flowers. By providing nectar and pollen as food and creating shelters in your garden space, you will create new habitat for bees, which is important, as their natural habitats become less and less abundant.


Wellness & Nutrition

Honey in the Bible

The Bible throughout gives mention of honey as well as bees. let’s explore the Bible and its quotations that give mention to honey and bees. Honey and bees are frequently mentioned throughout the Bible. It has been referred to as a wholesome food, a helpful kind of medicine in treatment of the ill, an ingredient of delicious beverage, an appropriate gift, as well as a valued possession for mankind. There is little evidence that the Hebrews actually cultivated bees, however, they were known to used wild honey in profusion. “Wild” honey is often mentioned; whether this was meant as a contrast to domesticated honey, it’s difficult to know. The Hebrew Bible gives indication that “Jews” were solicitous about their honey supply,as indicated in the Talmud (Hebrew Bible) (B. Batra 18, A) where a warning is given never to let mustard plants grow near bees nests because bees are fond of these flowers which, however, burn their throats, and they then consume a greater quantity of honey.



The Butterfly Nebula

The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust.

Sure to Make You Smile

What did the Daddy bee say to the little naughty bee?

Bee-hive yourself!

Disclaimer is an online Ezine operated by a Roman Catholic family. The website content is particular to Catholic theology, but in no way is this website an “official” website for the Catholic Church. It operates as a layman’s ministry devoted to interesting, informal, spiritual, interactive, educational, and religious content and products to aid in ones personal journey towards better stewardship of creation and the creatures we share this life with. Sharing the joy of communion with God through the extended family of creation. This website may contain links to third party blogs/websites. is in no way responsible for the contents of any linked blog/websites or any links contained in such blog/website. Links are provided for convenience and information and do not imply endorsement of the linked site. Privacy is important to us; therefore, we will not sell, rent, or give away your name, personal information or Email address to anyone, ever! You may contact us by sending an email to:

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