August 18 - Jeffco Libraries have no eclipse glasses available.

Home > Teens > Teen Blog

Teen Blog

Scott, Teen Contributor

The Africanized honey bee (AHB for short)

Where do I start? How about the beginning... 

In 1957, a visiting beekeeper had the opportunity to inspect biologist Warwick Estevam Kerr's hives. The beekeeper noticed that some queen excluders were interfering with worker bee movement and, as any beekeeper would do, removed them. WORST. MISTAKE. EVER (they were, after all, the most aggressive hives he had). This allowed the bees to swarm 29 times allowing them to set up shop in the area. Then, they bred with the European bees common in the area, and then, the AHB was born. 

Kerr is credited with creating the “...most successful biologically invasive species of all time”, or as I say, the Kudzu of insects. They spread to most of the states below the north and high deserts (like Colorado!). By 1990, the counts of swarms in Arizona were up to 90% and climbing. It is suspected that a swarm traveled in an oil pipe being brought to an oil field in southern California, thereby jumpstarting their invasion of the states. 


To identify an AHB swarm:

If you find a swarm of bees in your yard, before calling a beekeeper, slowly approach them, if they are Africanized they will start to chase you and try and sting if you get too close. If this happens, run inside quick and fetch a can of Raid or something similar, and KILL THE SKUM! Believe me, you will be doing the world a favor.  If they don't notice you or just a few come and look at you, call a beekeeper and he will come and collect the swarm. Also, if there is doubt of weather or not it is Africanized, call a beekeeper and s/he will be able to tell.


Have questions about bees or beekeeping? Submit your question!

Image Credit: Daniel Plumer on Flickr

Rose, Teen Contributor

2012 was a year that equates to hell for me. Home was rough, I was drowning in school, and my mind was trying to kill me from the inside out. It was the last year I would live with my father, my first time ever getting anything less than an A, and the year I would end up in the hospital at Thanksgiving, with a slice of pumpkin pie, and a plateful of mental health diagnosis. I was at the end of my rope. 

At the time, I had two things that I cared about. A pink journal, and a book. Every night, without fail, I would pull out my book: a well worn copy of The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan, and read. It generally took around 6 hours to finish (yes, I read the whole thing) and then I would pull out my journal. I wrote myself into the book, made conversation with Gilan, and rode through the woods… this escape lasted around an hour. My bedtime was 7pm. By around 2am I was drifting off to sleep, and by 6:30 I was sleepily pulling on jeans and a t-shirt. 7:15, I was in my first class of the day. 

Now, yes, I was exhausted. But I was alive. I would never recommend this to anyone, but for me, it worked. However, there is a definite lesson we can learn from my 12 year old self: don't be afraid to daydream. 

As I said, my home life was pretty messed up. My entire family was terrified of what dad would do next… The main character in The Ruins of Gorlan did not have a family. Before, I always thought family was a done deal. It is what it is. Nothing will ever change. Life without dad was not an option. I had always thought you got a mother and father and would have them forever. I started reading, and started dreaming. I thought about what life could be. A life without dad. A life of freedom. 

Finally, I ran away. One thing I did not realize about daydreaming is that you should daydream about everything, and not always jump into rash, impulsive moves. Regardless, things worked out. I was transported to a hospital. I found out that not only are they ideal places for daydreaming, they are full of people who are there to help. 

When I finally I opened my mouth. I couldn't believe it when everything started pouring out. The abuse. The fear. I felt free. 

I won't bore you with the details, but I will say that the court ruled in our favor. The abuse was over. 

Even after this though, I was still had a long fight ahead of me. This time, against mental illness. Dad had left behind scars, physical yes, but even more impacting were the emotional scars. But now, I knew how to dream. 

My first dream was to have a cat. When we were leaving my dad we stayed at a friend's house, every night her cat Lucy would come up and snuggle with me. And to make my dream come true, out came my journal, and out of my clenched fingers came list after list, all about the benefits of having a cat. I showed my mom, and finally, in January, I had a very fat, but lovable black cat, Ebony. 

Now my dreams have expanded. In around a year I will be heading to college. I will be studying theater, and probably zoology (Ebony inspired a lifelong love of animals). 

I want to inspire everyone, don't be afraid to daydream. Dream big, and if one dream fails, you can turn it into a new and improved dream. A dream can come from anything, a book, a cat, a picture, it really doesn't matter, what matters is the existence of said dream. 


Image Credit: Kevin Dooley on Flickr. 

Scott, Teen Contributor

Hello to all who are reading this, as that means that you have at least a slight interest in beekeeping. For that, I give you my deepest constabularies (if you do not know where I got that, shame on you for not watching Blackadder, so go and watch it all the way through. If you don't like British humor, stop being such an Ood and get in an argument with a Dalek). Anyway, about beekeeping. In this section of the blog, I will do a weekly entry about something bee related along with a Q&A section at the end. This will sort of be a companion to my beekeeping series of videos on YouTube. If you have any questions, please fill out this form on my website, and they will be answered in the Q&A section of my next blog post (maybe I'll even make a vlog occasionally and post it to YouTube to answer the questions). This week though, I'll do some FAQ's at the end. In this blog, you can expect to find some interviews with pros, my personal experiences in beekeeping, and a few interesting bits and bobs in the bee news. 



Q: Why do you not wear gloves while inspecting the hive? Are you insane?!!

A: I don't need to. Bees are really quite docile creatures (except for the AHB, but that's next week's blog post) unless they are being robbed (also another article). Yes, while I do get stung during my inspections, it doesn't hurt much if you scrape it off. As for my sanity, I started questioning it a while back.


Q: A bee stung me more than once. How is it possible?

As you can see in the picture,the stinger is barbed, making it impossible for them to remove a stinger once inserted. You probably were stung by a yellow jacket as they look extremely similar to the common honey bee.

Thank you for reading!



Enlarged image  Credit: Land Care Research.

Cover image Credit: Meg Riordan on Flickr


Rhys, Teen Contributor

Do you ever find yourself reading a cereal box at breakfast? Maybe you want to learn about the total nutrition facts or maybe you have nothing else to read. I often times find myself reading the cereal or waffle box and I recently started thinking about other silly things I read when I do not have a book in front of me.


Do you ever look on a friend's bookshelf to see what they're reading, trying to find a new series for yourself?


I have also caught myself reading people’s shirts. They can make you laugh, they can make your day go better or they could even change your perspective on something.


I also read any words on paintings or pictures because they tell you where the picture was taken or what it's supposed to be.


Magazines can be read if if you're not reading a book and it might teach you something or improve your day. I read weird magazines when I am in a waiting room. But sometimes I find a good article that I would have never seen otherwise. They can teach you a new recipe or teach you something else new.


Street signs or trail signs can give you important information about where you are or where to go . You can also learn a lot about your environment by reading trail signs.


Billboards can inform you about cool activities or important products that you may need.


Have you ever read the description of food on a menu to know exactly what it is supposed to be and if you're going like it or not? This can also give you some ideas of new things and combinations to try at home.


Words surround us in our lives and just because you do not have a book handy does not mean you have to turn to video games or texting. Try to find something new to read each day. I bet you will be surprised at what you find.


Image Credit: Pierre Metivier on Flickr

Will, Teen Contributor

Revenge bot is a dangerous android programmed to do one thing... KILL. The creator of the Revenge bot collects money from villains who need a bounty hunter. Although the Revenge bot is a gruesome killer it has one flaw. The programmer allowed hacking into the robot fairly easily. The robot has been hacked and considers its mission a failure if it killed anyone but its target.

This version of the Revenge bot has been upgraded by the Virus to cause havoc and chaos. It also is dehacked.

Rhys, Teen Contributor

I've always loved Harry Potter so when my mom and dad said that I could go to the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I was super excited! When we got there I got to do a Sorting Hat activity where you could pick one of the house names out of a hat and then get a pin or a magnet for that house. As expected, I got Hufflepuff. I participated in a bunch of activities like Harry Potter themed quizzes and mazes. I got to take my mugshot like I was a prisoner of Azkaban. Prisoner number XY390. Ten seconds to midnight we all started doing a big countdown. The anticipation was amazing! Everyone started cheering and we started going to buy the book. All in all, it was a great party.  I am glad I went even though I was awake way later than usual. My mom is torturing me saying I can't read the book before Monday because that's when we're going on a road trip. Come  Monday,  the minute we pull out of the driveway I will crack the spine! Expected a report on how it was by Tuesday! 

Kayla, Teen Contributor

We are the Ants is the first book I've read by Shaun David Hutchinson and it did not disappoint. Henry has a lot going on in his life: his mom is struggling, his grandmother is sick, his brother got his girlfriend pregnant, his boyfriend committed suicide and he was abducted by aliens. Could it get much worse for Henry? Short answer, yes. Long answer, no. He has been informed by the aliens that the world is coming to an end, but he has the option to stop it from happening. Henry is seriously debating whether or not to prevent the end of all mankind or to just to let it all end. You'll have to read the book yourself to find out what decision Henry made. You can expect a dark read with moments of humor and over the top situations. But somehow it all was down to earth. I rate the book 5/5. Read it. 

Emily, Teen Contributor

This photo was taken by Emily in Glacier National Park

"Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible." -Viginia Woolf

Rhys, Teen Contributor

When I was little my parents told me if I learned to read well, I could learn anything from a book. As I have grown older I have seen how true that is! 

My first big chapter book I read was the Harry Potter series. My mom and dad started reading it to me but I got annoyed at them because they were going so slow. I snatched the book from their hands and started reading it immediately. I was off on my reading journey!

I enjoy reading non-fiction books. They have taught me all sorts of things from the names of minerals to things about World War 2. For example, I read a Neil Armstrong biography, I would not know as much about the space program, being an astronaut and space if I hadn't chosen to read that book. 

I have also realized that fiction books can be a good place to learn. If I had not read the Percy Jackson series, I would not know it's nearly as much as I do about the Greek and Roman gods. Reading this series sparked an interest and I began reading many other books about these subjects and now have a really good understanding of the ancient gods. 

When I went to Petra, I had a good idea of what to expect and some of the history. I read about it for months before I went so I knew more about it when I did go. All of a sudden, the words that we just printed on a page in the book actually came to life right before my eyes. 

I will continue to read into the future because now I know that if you read you can learn anything you want to.

Destinee, Teen Contributor

Every day, you capture something beautiful. It may be a picture of the sun sitting on the horizon. It could be a sketch of a girl sitting in a corner. It could be a sculpture of a butterfly. Whatever you create, we want it. 

The Belmar Teen Advisory Board is looking for your art. If you send your art in, it will have a chance to be displayed in the August art exhibit. To enter, you must be between the ages of 12 and 18. To submit, you may email Librarian Lisa, or drop off your work at library before July 15. If your work is chosen, you will be notified by July 22. The exhibit will open with an artist’s reception on August 2.

Here’s what you need to know:


1.       With your art, you must include the dimensions, artists name, age, grade, school, title, medium, and year of creation

2.       You can unfortunately, only submit five pieces of art

3.       You will be notified by July 22 if your art is included

4.       Your art must be dropped off at the library before July 30

We are excepting most forms of art, including paintings, sketches, photos, sculptures, structures, and ceramics.  If you have any questions, please email Librarian Lisa

[email protected] 


Subscribe to Teen Blog