Friday, July 8, 2016

All about the bees

Bees, not bass. And no treble!

Now that we're all on the same page.

Once upon a time as a child I was stung by a bazillion wasps. I was watching a neighbour plowing, and he offered me a chance to ride on the tractor. Duh! So I was jumping from rock to rock in the ditch to get to the fence. One of the rocks turned out to be a wasp nest. Things get a little hazy for me then.

The odd thing is that I have no fear of them, or getting stung again. I've only had one sting since, when out for a bike ride. I don't blame the bee. There it was flying along minding it's own business when it's clipped by an inconsiderate human.

One of the things that really pleases us about our garden is the little ecosystem we have going now. There's always been a few bees and ants. Now we've got at least three species of bees (with photo proof yet!), several different kinds of birds, ants, lady bugs, and I don't know what all else. It's so nice to sit there with a glass of wine, watching and listening to the activity. Even when we're hunting the disgusting lily beetles the rest of the critters don't seem to mind us.

I think one of the bee's nest is under the driveway, another is between the blocks of the retaining wall and probably into the hollows of the block, which would be a lovely safe place for them. I don't know where the other species is nesting.

Some of you will know that I love honey and have ever since I was a child. My mom's dad kept bees, so I got honey straight from the source, partially crystalized, which is the right and proper way for it to be. On home made bread. I'm not sure if the butter was churned from their own cream or was store bought. A couple of my readers might know.

Lately bees have been under threat. They've been dying in droves, and that's very much too bad. There is discussion about the problem being pesticides, mites, or other diseases. Considering how important bees are to the ecosystem and us continuing to eat, I think it's prudent to err on the side of caution. Cutting back on the profits of big-agra doesn't bother me one bit.

Here's the three different kinds of bees. I like taking pictures of the flowers, and if I get the chance I'll chase the bees. This isn't talent, to get the bees in focus. This is luck. Shoot enough photos and you'll get a useful image sooner or later. Later today I want to go clean out the images where the bee is a smudge, and the lamb's ears are in perfect focus. I've got lots of those.

Without further ado. Any of my readers know which species these are?


  1. Your bee pics are amazing! I only know of 2 kinds: honeybees and bumblebees. Mainly due to nursery rhymes.

  2. Wonderful photos, Keith. No idea what species you've got there but the ones with the red stripe are terrific!


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