Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's All the Buzz?

Sitting out in the garden the other day, under the roar of the planes flying overhead, I could hear the steady hum of bumble bees. Dozens of them, busily flying from blossom to blossom collecting pollen. How cute are they?

I found myself entranced by the seemingly random way in which they went about their chores. I sat for an hour watching as these tiny bodies started at one end of a blossom and danced their way to the other. So sweet.
Each one of them developed mighty yellow thighs, filled with the fruit of their labors. They were absolutely relentless in their work. Flitting from flower, to flower, to flower, making sure that no tiny speck was left uncollected.
I found myself wishing that I could bottle their energy and then eek it out sparingly during the week. In proportion, I would probably get my house cleaned and tidy in about fifteen minutes.
The thought crossed my mind to follow them home. But, an encounter with one of their early ancestors as a young girl prevented me from doing so. We had a large raspberry patch in one of the fields at the house I grew up in. Picture a little girl of seven, moving from a small house in a small neighborhood, to a two-story Colonial with seven acres of land. Everything filled me with awe and wonder. It was a magical place. The first week there was spent investigating every nook and cranny I could find.
My mother took us out to pick raspberries early one evening. There were so many- fat and juicy, rosy in color, waiting to be picked. We were sharing this time with a few hungry birds and quite a lot of rather industrious bees.
All went well, my bucket was filling quickly, and I was happily popping a few into my mouth every now and then. All of a sudden.............OUCH!! Apparently I had popped in a raspberry that already had been chosen by one of the little buzzers and he (I'm sure it was a he) in response planted his little stinger right into my bottom lip.
Running screaming to the house, my dad came out and burst out laughing. My lip, it seemed, was sticking out so far that I could have lined up raspberries on it with no chance of them falling off. Stupid bee.
My only consolation was in discovering that the bee would die.
I don't pick raspberries when I see bees anymore. In fact, I keep a very healthy distance between me and them now.
It was a surprise that I ventured to take a picture or two of them in the garden that day. But I am glad I did. Until that last one changed direction and began heading for me.
It takes exactly 4.2 seconds to get into my house from the back. Trust me.


GardenGoose said...

so wonderful that you have bees pollinating your flowers this year..I have only seen 1 lone honeybee this year here:0( and only 1 lone mason bee.:0( I would love to have more of them show up in my yard, but we haven't had but a few butterflies and only the 2 bumblebess.:0( and I have lots of flowers in my yard too and don't spray any pesticides here..but they still haven't arrived. My guess is because the city sprays for mosquitos though.
Enjoy those bees for me..I'd love to see some buzzing around here though.

madrekarin said...

You can have my carpenter bees- They have eaten up the beams on my back porch. Grrrrrrrr. Full of holes, and sawdust is everywhere. I reckon I should be grateful that they are alive and buzzing though, with all of the problems that bees have been having this year. Yes, I am grateful, I am grateful.....