Give and Take…
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love
And to both, the bee and the flower,
The giving and receiving is a need and an ecstasy.
…store of bees, in a dry and warme bee-house
comely made of fir boards to sing and sit,
and feede upon your flowers and sprouts,
make a pleasant noyse and sight.
The men of experiment are like the ant;
they only collect and use.
But the bee…gathers its materials
from the flowers of the garden and of the field,
but transforms and digests it
by a power of its own.
~Leonardo da Vinci
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee, And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few. ~Emily Dickinson
No matter whether it hops, crawls, runs, wriggles, slithers, swims, flies, buzzes, chirrups, grows from the ground or lives in water, we, mankind, need nature. And those of us who garden know that what we as stewards of Creation must supply feeding stations and safe havens for the bees, the birds, and other wildlife. Therefore our flowers, berries, seed heads, etc. should be free of toxins. And among other things in autumn we need to resist disposing of things like hollow plant stems because tiny bees may be hibernating inside. All this is why years ago I started meeting the requirements for my yard to be certified as a habitat, and now that it is I proudly display my National Federation of Wildlife signs on the gates.
There are so many joyous components that go into what a yard and it flowerbeds and gardens are, and for me the buzz of the bees is one of the most essential of those elements. I love my bees and over the years I have intentionally planted things to attract them, especially after I began reading more and more about the alarming and widespread decline of bee populations as well as the collapse of beehives here in the US and all over the world. For instance, there are places all over our country where too many pesticides have been used over the years and as a result their ecosystems are void of bee populations. That’s why nowadays hives have to be transported from state to state by 18 wheel trucks so that farmers and growers can pollinate pollinate their crops and orchards.
What mankind desperately needs to realize is that should bees completely vanish from planet earth, there would never again be peaches and almonds(two of my favorite foods by the way) and so many other things, things we desperately need and depend on to support human life. So I always advise people who have a growing space to please consider planting things that will invite these amazing creatures to sup at their table. And as for being stung by one, let me just say two things: first, it’s a small price to pay for the preservation of our species; secondly, I have hundreds of bees in my yard, and I walk among daily among flowers to work in the beds or to take photos, and in the 20+ years that I’ve been doing I’ve not been stung once. A couple of times I have gotten a loud, warning buzz, especially when it’s a bumblebee that has been offended by my presence, and I just get up and walk away until the “grumbling bee” moves on. Ya know, now that I think about it, that works well in human relationships too. Hee hee!
Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and you will not be cut off. ~Proverbs 24:14 ✝
**All images via pinterest and the internet; opening collage created by Natalie