bird bath set up for the bees
Sometimes when I’m pondering posts for this blog, now, after five and a half years of blogging I have to doublecheck to see if I might already have covered some percolating idea. This post rather falls in that category, for I did, indeed, write a post a few years ago called Where the Bees Go. But upon revisiting that particular post what I found most interesting is that while there is some overlap with the one you are about to read, I had written that post in August, when what was flowering in my garden is not precisely what is in blossom now. And I point this out because one of my personal goals is to stretch the amount of time bees will find something yummy and delicious to harvest at ever-lengthening seasons. Apparently I’m meeting some of those objectives.
So, upon first days of summer I invite you into my garden to visit my visitors! I’ve been logging them for a few days. And this morning I actually tasked myself with the absolutely impossible guesstimation of how many bees and pollinators are visiting my garden on a daily basis. I decided 500 was a fair number, but it could be far more. What is driving up the honeybee numbers at this very moment are primarily this large stand of lavender, the true myrtle and the ever present and expanding buddleia, as there are now three to choose from, planted to attract butterflies, obviously, but far more bees responded, as might be expected. I guess. As I did not.
old lavender stand abuzz with bees from early morning ’till dusk
Some of you might have heard in the last week of the devastating news out of Oregon that the gardening service of a particular shopping mall sprayed an insecticide called Safari on their linden trees and 25,000 (that’s THOUSAND) bumblebees died within a day or so. Their bodies littered the parking lot. I am posting a particularly lot of pictures today as some small tribute to our pollinator friends, not that it makes up for such a horrendous loss, but perhaps some one or two of you might be inspired to do a bit more for your own bee visitors and this post will have made some teeny difference. I hope so. Had I been in that town in Oregon I believe I would have been compelled to walk the parking lot spreading flower petals, at very least. Since I can’t do that, I will give my gifts of writing and photography combined with my deep love for the pollinators. Thank you.
Teeny little babies. Don’t ask me what they are called. They do the work, however.
Honeybees are very attracted to this plant, which I continue to call my Mystery Plant. Do you know its name? Its leaves look like pot. Yes, they do. Scared me to death when they emerged! Finally the purple spike grew and I breathed a sigh of relief. I do know that Liz Watkin at Nutty Gnome blog in the UK has one, too. She also does not know its name. Help us out. Meanwhile, the bees don’t care what it’s called. It’s yummy.
The 4th of July roses attract all manner of pollinators. I’m imagining if I were a pollinator these spectacular colors would attract me, too.
The trumpet vine, which runs rampant on this property, is always a favorite of the honeybees.
One of my very favorite observations has to do with the magical mix of bumblebees and hollyhocks. It is not unlike them to tuck themselves into a hollyhock for the night, awakening slowly to morning’s early warmth and continuing whatever they were doing before they fell asleep. Have you seen this? And of all the pollinators it is the bumblebees who seem most intoxicated with the pollen of the hollyhock. They immerse themselves with the discovery of it, wallow in it, revel in it in the greatest joy.
Blessings on our bees. Thank you for whatever you might do to ensure their well being.
Love and gardening blessings,
Book News: On June 23rd I will be a guest on KSFO’s popular show “Bob Tanem in the Garden” at 8:30AM (PST)!
Posted on June 22nd, 2013 by Kathryn
Filed under: Animals