Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I am thinking honey bees

When we first moved into this house, the cedar trees in the backyard had only just begun to suffer the twin assault of drought & blight. In those days, they looked like green furry fat people dancing whenever the air moved. By late September, they looked like green furry fat people with pink hairdos. This is the time of coral vine.

Each Winter I collect multiple recycled yogurt containers of seeds. In the Spring I dig out every plant I find in the yard & they all to good homes. The cedar trees are all but gone. In the meager limbs they have left, many hives worth of bees are gorging themselves on the abundant coral vine.

I am very allergic to bee stings. & wasp stings. & hornet stings. & fire ant bites. & these are just the insects I know for sure. The appeal of honeybees is strong, though. & this year, the coral vine has covered the gate I use several times a day, I pass right by bees so heavy with pollen they pull the blossoms over. Not one of them has ever paid me the least attention. I used to do all the things I was told to avoid their attention: no bright colored clothing, no perfume, no shampoo that smells floral, no fragrant fabric softener. The list goes on. & I need not have bothered. A honey bee would no more mistake me for a flower than I would mistake a honey bee for a ... well I cannot think of anything. Trust me, a honeybee knows what is & is not a flower.

I was given this advice while I still worked in downtown Hartford. Perhaps in the confusion that was Bushnell Park in the early '90s a honey bee could think I was a flower, but honestly none ever did. In fact, I never saw them go for the carousel horses either & they look (& smell once they've had a few candy-coated kids pass by) way more flowery than anyone I ever met.

I am not sure, but I suspect these horses have been out up for the winter. Here, we are still in the throes of summer: the yard still needs to be mowed (I have not, of course, Sunday we put Becca in the yard for a peaceful graze & will again later in the week), the cotton plants (yes, I planted cotton) have only just bloomed & only one has formed the familiar cotton-head, it is late afternoon & 89F as I type this. But I am itching to reread the bee book & I just might have to get the getting started with honeybees pamphlet from IFAS.

1 comment:

  1. I guess I know now what to get you for Christmas. Perhaps a donation of honeybees to Heiffer International?