Posts Tagged ‘bees’

The NY Times just had an article speculating about whether, given the existence of specific brain anatomy, bees might have some form of awareness.  They rule out “why” questions, like “why am I not queen?”, but I can easily imagine that awareness might include some form of “Whew!”….as in…

“Unit has successfully avoided being eaten”


“Unit is wet. Unit does not have stable footing. Unit is out of correct operating temperature range…. NEW DATA: stable footing.  NEW DATA: sunlight and warmth.  NEW DATA: food available…. PROCESSING….”

…which really means that I’ve fished another three bees out of a bucket of rainwater and set them out to dry on dandelion flowers…


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Spring Singer alerted me to the emergence of this year’s first crop of jousting carpenter bees [Xylocopus] in regional gardens.  This afternoon they are bumbling in and around the magnolia blossoms and riding the willow catkins, which bow under their weight in the March breezes.


At least, around here, at the moment, those are ‘breezes’.  I understand Colorado got a blizzard, and sections of the Northeast got a recent blast of snow.

Big bees, little bees; it’s been a good day for watching wildlife in the warming weather.  A wood thrush poked around in the leaf litter by the back fence.  White throated sparrows haven’t disappeared yet, and the downy woodpeckers are tap tap tapping to see what might be waking up under loose bark.  Cardinals, blue jays, song sparrows…. Squirrels, rabbits, and oh, I hope that was something other than a rat — aren’t those supposed to be nocturnal?  Couldn’t it be a stoat, or something more pleasant, with a brown agouti coat and bright black eyes?

We’ll see.

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Seriously.  People grumble about weather in the 40s and this is happening down the block:


I should be grateful at least evening looks about right:


There were bees out today.  I’m happy for them being able to get a last snack or two, but really.  BEES?

Fine.  Click through to some hysterical Torch Songs in which the word ‘Me’ has been replaced by “Bees”.

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Special Guest Bee: the Re-Blogged Edition!

“Polyester bees, cellophane bees!
Little bees buzzing out to greet the warmer weather.
Clever little chemists, fuzzy engineers,
Ruffle up the daffodils and pollinate the heather….”

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The new garden bed is starting to show signs of life.  Crocuses, grape hyacinth leaves, a bit of new growth at the base of the perennials, and little red fists of peony leaves are punching upward from the soil…NewBulbGarden2015I’ve also learned that a happy side effect of leaving more of the aster stalks up through the winter is that it is more difficult for the rabbits to get at the rock iris:

Crocus-RockIris2015And did you notice our first Special Guest Bee for 2015?  Yes!  The First Bee of Spring!!

It’s right near the center of one of the striped crocuses.  Here:

It's a Bee!

Maybe a polyester bee?

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Bees that way sometimes

So…um….yeah…I woke up in the parking lot, and there was nothing. Just that big empty flat space, that flat hard space where nothing grows. And there I was, stumble-bumbling, tripping over my own wings, and there was no getting airborne. I was…well, I was no, that’s not working…..no, not that either…. Um… about to NOT be. Bad for a Bee, trust me. Nothing to climb on. No launching space, just flat. I can crawl. Maybe I can keep crawling a little longer.

Then, I don’t know. Something. Not a plant. Tasted funny to my feet, but I started climbing and more climbing, and not quite enough air was catching in my wings, not yet, but I’m up, I’m …wait. UP?

And then this Dandelion! I got smack into this Dandelion.

Delicious Dandelion.

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Tis fact, not shame or pride, that bids me say
Indeed, I was born only yesterday…

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…and at least one bee.

Asters2013-pink Asters2013-1blue

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I wish I could track down where I had learned this, but I’d heard from a gardener a few years ago that while the aster Purple Dome had terrific color, it was sterile [that I can confirm elsewhere] and that it didn’t have a lot of nectar, if any, to offer bees or butterflies.

And, as you can see, the color is great, but do you see any visitors?  Nope, me neither.
Granted, I have heard that some asters are so splendidly pollen/nectar-iferous that bees and butterflies will ignore other offerings in favor of “the really good stuff”, but the plant here just wasn’t attracting anybody, and you’d think they’d stop by to at least look around….

Meanwhile, the October Skies and wild white asters are all abuzz here.  This Purple Dome specimen stayed at the garden center. Why spoil the party?

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Here already are the cats,
And the basil,
And the figs,
And the evening darkness interrupted by a waning Moon.

Dinner is over
Dinner is ‘NOT YET’
Leftovers soon to be pounced upon

We wait for something like a bee
Buzzing down side streets
Veering slightly askew
To land in the driveway.

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