Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting to Know the Bees

I am surprised to say that I am fond of my bumblebees. I say they are mine because they live in my flower garden out front. They even sleep there. They like to curl up inside the daphnias at sundown, and when they wake, they spend their entire day buzzing around my garden.
I say I am surprised because I am just slowly getting over an intense fear of bees. Just a few years ago, I could hardly stand to be outside if I heard anything remotely similar to the buzz of a bee. I would just run inside and not go out again that day. I remember on more than one occasion when I bravely went out to quickly put a flower in the ground, but then heard a bee. I ran to the front door to go inside but husband had LOCKED the door out of pure habit. I pounded on the door, heart pounding and furious. I was sure the neighbors thought I was insane.
One step forward was when I would run inside after hearing a bee, but would only stay in for a few minutes until I calmed down. I might go in and out of the house several times, but at least I was returning to the great outdoors.
Last summer was a huge turning point for me. I got most of the flowers started before it really warmed up, so there weren't many bees around. When I went out to enjoy and water the flowers in the summer, I saw how many bumblebees were around. Husband was really great and told me that the bumblebees are very gentle and slow and aren't going to harm me. I started to watch them buzz around the lavender. I got to where they could fly over my head and I would stay outside with them. I started to like them. I felt like I was giving them a place to stay and food to eat, and they were helping my garden.
I still don't like to pick flowers if they are out there. I wanted to harvest some lavender but there are so many bumblebees out there and I'm just not to the point where I can harvest in the midst of bees yet. I was able to get close enough to a few to get their pictures taken. I still don't like the regular honeybee very much, and I sure don't like anything with dangly legs. (Mud dabbers, wasps, yellow jackets, etc.) However, I might just go outside and watch my bumblebees this evening.

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