The humble, darling honeybee. There is something so special about them and yet, I think people forget about them. Right now I find them hard to forget as I am usually elbow deep in them as I pick raspberries. they fill the rows of canes with their steady hum as they buzz throughout the blossoms. Reminding my of W.B. Yeats’ poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree:
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
The imagery that this poem invokes is utterly romantic in form. While I don’t live in a bee-loud glade, bees are a constant here. I wouldn’t know what to do without them around all the time.
I have a very pleasant relationship with bees, absolutely adore them, and probably like them way more than most people do. I think the bees know it as well. I can thrust my hands into the canes to pick, bumping up to bees and not having to worry about being stung. Sure, I have been stung, but that was when I rested my hand on a bee. And the poor dear did not make it out alive.
Bumble bees and those beautiful, black, bombing Carpenter bees don’t die if they sting you (love that alliteration) and I have the experience to back that up. Who knew you shouldn’t pick up Carpenter bee females from possibly drowning in the pool. It would have been fine had I not used my bare hand.
But I respect bees, and they respect me. I am forever rescuing honeybees that are half drowned by my watering. And I hate to see the older girls slowly fade away as they are dying, until one morning you find the still form of one in the dewy grass. One who will never move again.
Bees are my friends. A friend of my family is deathly afraid of bees. She is allergic, I think, so stays far away from them. It brings to mind a poem I read the other day in Orion magazine‘s September/October issue about a woman that has an uneasy reltaionship with Shasta daisies and bees. The bees love her daisises which are around her mailbox, and she’s allergic to bees. You can read the poem in the picture below.
I love the line “Going to the bees’. Actually, I just love the whole darn thing. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about bees that way. I putter along, picking berries, brushing buzzing, fuzzy bodies, brandishing my camera when I remember to have it on hand. I adore taking pictures of bees. I wish I could have a catalog I’ve done of every bee. As in I want to catalog every bee with pictures and more pictures. I adore bees. And I like the thought of going to the bees, when I’m out picking in the hum drum sounds.
And that is itself is the buzz of it all.
- The Buzz on Bees! (childrensmuseumofalamance.wordpress.com)
- A sweet idea: Effort on to bring urban beekeeping to La Crosse (lacrossetribune.com)
- Honeybees Are Still Hurting, But Backyard (and Rooftop) Beekeepers Can Help (science.time.com)