Saturday, June 28, 2008


Sometimes I go out to my garden for no reason whatsoever. I'm not going to be pulling weeds; I'm not going to be picking any crops; I'm not planting anything. I just want to look at the plants. I'm not sure why I do it. Maybe they are calling me in a voice I can't really hear? But whatever the reason, I find it very peaceful. I always notice something about the garden while doing it.Yesterday I noticed the bees.

They where swarming amid my coriander flowers. Lots of bees, wasps and bee flies. I stood there looming over them and watched. Some were slow and pondering, like the bumble bees. Some quick and agile, not landing for more than a second. They were large, they were small. There was a noticeable lack of honey bees. So far I have seen exactly one honeybee this year. In past years they have been everywhere - the most common bee in my garden. No more. I was sad when I noticed it, but it didn't distract me from the peace of watching my bees.

I don't know why I love bees so much, but I do. Yes intellectually I know why I like bees, all gardeners do, but my love for bees is different. I wish they didn't have stingers because I want to pet them. I find their little pollen packet cute as they bop from flower to flower. Wasps do not engender the same kind of love as bees, even though they are very useful in my garden too. Wasps scare me a little; bees do not. Probably because wasps are the flying warriors of the garden, while honey bees are the farmers. I feel a lot of empathy for my fellow flying farmer.


  1. My coriander is a mecca for bees too! Everytime I go out there it is covered.

  2. Awww, bees scare me. I did like "The Bee Movie" though. Bees were cute then. I also feel bad for them. They die after they sting someone... but I do hate it when they try to sting you. no fun!

  3. I enjoy watching the bees working away in the garden too. Lately I have been reading a lot about mason bees and am interested in learning more about them. Every where you turn people are noticing the low honey bee is so sad. :-(

  4. Daphne: Just tonight I went outside at dusk just to walk around the garden without an agenda... did have pruners in hand just in case I saw a stray shoot or an evil grasshopper (which I did). I too love the peaceful sound of bees buzzing about. We have lots of them on the indigo spires, the coneflower and the jasmine.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

  5. I've only been stung by a bee once, but it had every right. It got stuck in my hair. I tried to free it but it was too tangled. I never thought it hurt all that bad.

  6. I was so thrilled today. While watching my bees, I saw two honey bees. I hadn't seen any in weeks. I'm hoping that means they will get more prolific later.

  7. I haven't seen many honeybees here either.

    We do have bald faced hornets though. If we leave our shed door open they like to take the wood off the inside of the door (unpainted) for their paper nest. Really fun to watch.

    They are also a cool black and white pattern, at bit like someone's checkered kitchen floor along the tip of their abdomen.

  8. I have to confess. At my last house I had a hornet nest in one of the trees. Those hornets scare the heck out of me. I'm happy my current house doesn't have any. I did once get a yellow jacket nest under my compost pile. We abandoned that pile for the year. They moved out the next year so I could use it again.

  9. The black and white ones are pretty harmless unless you approach their nest. Thankfully the nest is no where in our yard. They like me. I leave the shed doors open all the time. They must have the hornet taj mahal by now.

    We did have yellow jackets nesting in the ground by our back steps and my husband did have to get rid of them. I think he watched very carefully to find the entrance and then after dark he flooded the nest.

    Too many toddlers around here to let that one go.

    Which ones have the dangly red legs? Those are the ones that scare me. They're too aggressive.