Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Bees Are Back

The bees are back.

The rudbeckia (rudbeckia nitida) is in full bloom finally, and it is once again Bee Central. Given the devastating collapse of commercial bee colonies nationwide and the greatly diminished number of wild colonies, I was afraid they would not return this year. The later we went into July and the scant number of bees that appeared, the lower my hopes and expectations fell.

But I came home late afternoon today to find the bees crawling and buzzing, working the flowers over furiously.

Making hay while the sun shines, so to speak.

I hope the bees fertilize my zucchini plants while they are at, as the zucchini have been sending up blossoms that open, linger hopelessly, and then drop off for lack of pollination. When I saw the bees in the rudbeckia, I promptly moved all three pots of zucchini plants next to the flowers.

I all but cheered when I saw several bees drop down to the zucchini and start mining the blossoms.

In an increasingly fragile world, where economies, nations, and environments are as shaky as the commercial bee colonies, the return of the bees bolsters my hope for the future. Maybe it is silly to stake my hopes on such a small thing, but I have appeared silly before.

Emily Dickinson wrote "'Hope' is the thing with feathers." Not in my world. In my world, "Hope" is the thing with wings. And right now Hope is having a fine time in my flowers.


Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, lovely - I am always pleased to see bees and I have an idea we have more here in London too - although that may be something to do with the beehive that has just been established about 100 feet away.

see you there! said...

Happy to see you have bees. People at the pool in the mountains have been commenting about the increase in bees this year and saying they have arrived earlier - usually it happens in August so I'm told.