I sometimes wonder if my fascination with bees started with Romper Room and Mr. Do-Bee. I was a serious child, my head often between the covers of books – or playing school – which never quite worked out as planned. I was usually the teacher with everyone else declaring recess within minutes of me writing on a pretend blackboard.
First paragraph in and I already digress.
I always wanted to be a “do bee”; make the right choices, behave, be polite, etc. Words still slip out of my mouth when a young child needs a little guidance, buzzing phrases like “is that what a do bee does?”.
Growing up, there were always lots of bees buzzing about Yia Yia’s zinnias and zucchini plants. I knew to be respectful of the bees from an early age, mostly to avoid a sting.
It wasn’t until my late-blooming years of the past decade or so that the plight of the bumble bee has caught my attention, especially the last several years of news of colony collapse and the overall lack of pollinators. The past several years it has been evident in my own garden that the bees are in trouble. Where blooms used to bow under the weight of bees, few came, so, it has been my utter delight to find three bees enjoying happy hour on the perennial Salvia, which have been ravishing this year.
Upon reading Dawn’s delightful post at Petals. Paper. Simple Thymes., I found a shallow bowl and a few rocks to place inside a small bowl, and headed out to my bee-friendly island of flowers and herbs with a bee bath.
Then, there was this charming post about tickle bees. I already knew that some bees burrow underground, for one autumn day some year’s past, I unwittingly dug up a hive – and paid the price in a series of stings. Tickle bees, however, are quite docile, at least in spring after a long winter’s nap.
As we become increasingly concerned over the very real loss of bees and how this threatens our food supply, we are encouraged to invite them into our gardens with bee-friendly plants. Organizations, such as the National Garden Clubs, partner with various bee-keepers to erect bee boxes, and while we all can’t be bee-keepers, we can put out simple houses to attract Mason bees, which are great pollinators, though they do not produce honey.
I’ve been thinking about setting a bee box out, maybe even putting a bug in my Antler Man’s ear to construct something similar to what a boy scout troop did with this bee-dominium, just steps away from the Herb Garden in Wilder Park.
If you are interested, you can see a short video here on tickle bees.