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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Utah: Busy Buzzin' Bees

This Day in History: January 4, 1896

Utah, the Beehive State

Utah is The Beehive State.
The nickname for Utah is The Beehive State. A beehive appears on Utah's flag and state seal, the state insect is the honeybee. Utah recognizes the beehive cluster as the state's astronomical symbol, and the beehive is the official state emblem. The state motto of Utah is simply "Industry" and appears on the state seal and state flag. The beehive on the state's coat of arms is also a symbol of hard work and industry.

Utah was Mexican territory when the first pioneers arrived in 1847. It became the 45th state admitted to the union on January 4, 1896. Utah is the most religiously homogeneous state in the Union with approximately 62% of the Utahans being reported as Mormans. The name Utah is derived from the name of the "Ute Tribe" and it means "people of the mountains" in the Ute language.

Utah is located at the convergence of three distinct geological regions:
the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau.
Utah is one of the Four Corners states.
Utah State Flag

Utah's flag displays the state seal design against a field of blue.
The date 1847 is the year the Mormons came to Utah.
1896 is the year Utah became the 45th state.

 Utah Great Seal

Utah State Bird: California Gull
Utah designated the California gull as the official state bird in 1955. California gulls are gymnasts of the sky - performing amazing aeronautic maneuvers and sometimes appearing motionless in midair by positioning themselves to catch wind currents with graceful precision.

Sego lily photo from Wikipedia.org.
Utah State Flower: Sego Lily
Utah designated the sego lily (Calochortus nuttalli) as the official state flower in 1911. Blooming in early summer, the sego lily has white, lilac, or yellow flowers and grows on open grass and sage rangelands in the Great Basin in Utah.
Chosen as the flower symbol of Utah because of its natural beauty and historic significance. It is interesting to note the soft, bulbous root of the sego lily was collected and eaten in the mid 1800's during a crop-devouring plague of crickets in Utah. The bulb of the sego lily was roasted, boiled, or made into a porridge by native Americans before the Mormon pioneers.

Utah State Star: Dubhe
Utah designated Dubhe as the official state centennial star in 1996 (Utah's Centennial year). Dubhe (the "h" is silent) is one of the seven bright stars that make up "The Big Dipper" (part of Ursa Major, or the Great Bear constellation). Orange-hued Dubhe was selected as the centennial star because its light takes 100 years to reach Earth (588 trillion miles distance).  Delaware is the only other state that has designated an official astrological symbol.
For all State Symbols of Utah click HERE!

 Utah State Folk Dance: Square Dance

Utah designated the square dance as the official state Folk Dance in 1994. The Mormon Pioneers loved the square dance for entertainment and to relieve the rigors of harsh frontier life.Twenty-two states have passed legislation to declare the square dance as a state symbol and more than thirty bills have been introduced at the federal level proposing the square dance as the national (folk) dance of the United States.

The 2003 Utah State Legislature voted to change the state song from "Utah, We Love Thee" to "Utah, This is the Place." Utah's original state song was then designated as the Utah State Hymn in HB223. Rep. Dana Love, R-Syracuse, sponsored the bill at the behest of the Cook Elementary School class in Syracuse who, as quoted in article from the Salt Lake Tribune on Friday, February 28, 2003, "...they didn't like the current state song, Utah We Love Thee, that it wasn't very much fun to sing." The Cook Elementary School fourth-graders sang it to Utah senators before they voted on the change (Utah Code). Read MORE...

Busy Buzzin' Bees
Utah State Insect - Honey Bee
The Queen, Worker, and Drone
Busily workin' about
A busy bee hive their home
Buzzin' their natural shout
A Busy Bee Hive
February the beginning
Bee colonies busily built
Nesting sites rapidly appear
Honeycombs soon filled to the hilt

Busily buzzin' about
Ne'er stopping to sleep
Foraging from flower to flower
Spring blossoms they seek

Bee Collecting Pollen on a Flower
The fruits of busy labor
Pure honey at its best
Poured over homemade biscuits
Ready for the taste test

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults
Bee Fact: Flowers and other blossoming plants have nectarines that produce sugary nectar. Worker bees suck up the nectar and water, then story it in a special 'honey stomach'. When the stomach is full, the bee returns to the hive and puts the nectar in an empty honeycomb. Natural chemicals from the bee's head glands and the evaporation of the water from the nectar change the nectar into honey.

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