May the Fourth Be With You

May the Fourth Be With You

"The Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming!"

So shouted American Revolutionary patriot Paul Revere during his historical ride. Those who responded to the colonial revolt included my immigrant ancestors: the Keatleys, Laughlins and Agees.

They left their farms and took up arms.

Today, July 4, we celebrate Independence Day, remembering the American patriots from the 13 colonies that defeated the British during the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783.

Wonder what life was like back during that time?

They grew vegetables and other crops; raised chickens, pigs, dairy and beef cattle and animals; hunted deer, elk and other game; and fished the nearby rivers and oceans. Their menu included eggs, milk, venison, bacon, bread, potatoes, fish, and rice.

And honey. Yes, they raised bees.

European colonists brought the honey bee (Apis mellifera) to the Jamestown colony (Virginia) in 1622. The native American Indians called it "the white man's fly."  In 1853--231 years later--honey bees reached California. A beekeeper brought the insects here in the middle of the California Gold Rush, 1848-1858. A plaque outside the San Jose Airport heralds their arrival.

In looking through my images of honey bees for this traditional Fourth of July Bug Squad blog, I found two that are especially suitable: Four bees sharing a single blossom.

  • Four on a rose
  • Four on a pomegranate

May the Fourth Be With You!