After several years of almost absolute silence on the bee radar here at Chez Norma, there is a large increase in their population this year. It is not up to the pre-2006 levels, but it's definitely getting there. Our yard of flowers and flowering weeds is a very inviting place for them, and the silence, when they were not here for the past few years, was almost deafening. Now it's quite alive with buzz again, at least for now -- a fact that makes me very happy.
A focused eye can see many varieties represented, far beyond the bumblebees who seemed to be the only occasional visitors and pollinators, for the past few years. Earlier in the season, this did not appear to be the case. I was very concerned about my fruit trees not being pollinated, because I saw frighteningly little bee activity. Some of that might have been because of the never-ending rainy weather, but in any case, I am very happy to see many of the bees back. I have not seen any actual honeybees yet, however. I suppose I should consider putting in a hive, but I seriously wonder: Do I really need to take on yet another thing?
I tried to capture some of the bee activity photographically, but it is very hard to do.
Just when I step in to take a photo, the bees sense my presence and take off. Then I stay still for a while, but when I press the shutter, a bunch of them will fly. I try to focus close-up to a single bee, and I end up getting the stamen of the flower, or a real nicely focused shot of the hosta, or Hank the garden gnome, seven feet behind the bee I'm trying to photograph. I try to take a wider shot to show you the volume of activity in a patch, and the camera doesn't pick up most of the bees, or it's blurred.
But anyway, here are a few, to give my environmentalist and bee-loving friends -- and hell, anyone anywhere who eats fruits and vegetables -- some hope.