Ninth March Blog. 24-3-15
Sunday (22-3-15) I saw my first bumble bee of the season. As it is still a bit chill, it made me wonder, as none of my flowers are out yet. Then I remembered that plenty of trees around here are in blossom. But in that case, it should have been on the other side of the road, where the trees are blooming. Perhaps the breeze blew it my way? Who can tell?
We get a few bumble bees each year. There is actually a nest in the house wall out back. But they have never really bothered me, even when I put a soft net screen in front of the nest to cover up plants I wanted to bring on. They found a way through, under or over the net, carried on with what they needed to do and left me in peace. After a couple of months or so, they moved away to where other plants were in flower. I suppose at some point, they must lay eggs or go back to the wall to hibernate. They do help pollinate my blackberries, and blossoms on the cherry tree, though not many were pollinated last year. It may have been a bit chill early on, as it is right now.
These bees, for those not au fe with bumble bees, are quite large creatures. A joy to watch them going about their daily work, always with a purpose in mind. OK so we know pollination happens but their purpose, I think, is gathering pollen and nectar for the young. So feeding the young bees, and themselves, is one of their main goals.
I do wish, on the really bad springs, that there was more around for them to gather. That is partly human fault. Many hedgegrows have been razed, many orchards too, and deforestation plays its part. Losing our bees is bad. All bees, not only honey bees. They all play their part. As do other insects, but we are losing bees at a rate of knots these days. Bad air can affect the bee population, I m sure. I do not know enough about bees and bee-keeping, only enough to know that if we let them die out, we will suffer too. Be that bad or good, other creatures also depend on pollination for food. Can we really be oblivious to their worth?
Oh bee, your dance is precious,
Upon the hive’s fine stage,
You wiggle and twizzle to show them,
It seems like you’re in a rage.
But no, you point the direction
Where nectar can be found,
Where pollen can be gathered
Around this collecting ground.
Up high in the trees, all blooming
With blossom juice to pluck,
To take back to storage hive,
From where honey bees suck.
We need their strong endurance,
Their tireless harvest work
For all the fruits and plants
We use, a job they do not shirk.
Our food source would be lessened,
And hunger we would know,
If bees became a rarity,
So beware, before they go.
Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. March, 2015.
Be careful out there today, everyone.