about the bees

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Sun, 08 Feb 2009 19:48:32 PST
The topic of bees is a sad one for me because we have not had bees around
here for a long time – a decade at least and probably more. 


Two years ago we had a glorious display of asters in October – several
square yards packed with flowers. We got great butterflies but all of
perhaps five bees. 


Each year I see a bee now and then, but never do I see them in numbers. 


One consequence of this is that I get little seed from plants which depend
largely on bees for pollination. If I know that I’ll want seed of something,
I have to hand pollinate it. I sometimes wonder if people don’t think of me
“with all that stuff he has, you would think that he could at least share a
little seed”  - but for me the days of abundant open pollinated seed are
evidently over. 


The year before last I had an Eremurus from which I wanted seed. I hand
pollinated about thirty flowers in the middle of the inflorescence just to
be safe. Three weeks later there was a seven foot high stick with a ring of
about thirty marble-sized capsules girdling the middle of the former
inflorescence. Not funny…


It’s small consolation that I now don’t have to watch my step as I walk
barefoot over the lawn. 


I miss the bees. 


Jim McKenney


Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/

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