Posts Tagged ‘bees’

There is always some room for Frost in Spring.

Robert Frost, that is.

Here is one of his poems, recently featured on The Writer’s Almanac. I find it fitting as we come to the end of National Poetry Month.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

A Prayer in Spring
by Robert Frost


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The Bee is Not Afraid of Me  

by  Emily Dickinson

The bee is not afraid of me,

I know the butterfly;
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.

The brooks laugh louder when I come,
The breezes madder play.
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists?
Wherefore, O summer’s day?


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DSCN8676I 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.

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If you are interested, you can see a short video here on tickle bees.


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“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

Ray Bradbury. Dandelion Wine. 

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Frau Dagmar’s bee

Like most of you, I’ve been a bit busy lately. It seems that there is no time for rest with the watering and weeding and fertilizing of the garden beds come mid-July. In between watching the birds and butterflies flitting about, there are the cook-outs, barbecues, and pig roasts, weddings and festivals, and I imagine a few of you will be heading to the air-conditioned theaters to see the last of the Harry Potter movies.

Here in the midwest this past week we have once again endured more violent weather  with hurricane force winds. We’ve been lucky here on the cutoff. Our power has remained on and, except for some downed branches, a few flowers that look pretty rattled, and the dear robins who lost a home, we have been okay. For many thousands in the vicinity, however, there have been power failures lasting all week and major damage to trees, houses and cars, not to mention freezers full of food that are spoiled. This next week looks to be a scorcher with today the prelude, so, here’s hoping everyone affected is safe, cool, and healthy.

I’ll leave you for now with this exuberant bee who was having great fun at the Morton Arboretum. He was actually rolling around in the pollen. A regular orgy was going with him and his friends in these Frau Dagmar Hastrup rugosa roses. I love the rugosa roses, having had two in our other home, and after the buzz of excitement excitement Frau Dagmar caused, I may just have to find a place for one here in our little neck of the woods.

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