The Circle of Life

 

 

Mister had himself a mosey to check on the bees and reported back to me. It wasn’t good. We then moseyed together and I saw for myself.

 

Mister pointed out that what’s left of the hive appears like a haunted house. The occasional lost bee circles around, a ghost who once lived there. I’ve no idea how long the ghost bees will search. At some point, I suppose they’ll fall to the ground, like the old rotted hive. After a while, there will be no sign that they ever existed in that spot. No living trace. No dead trace either, for that matter.

 

It’s the Circle of Life, friends. And it’s as natural as breathing, no matter the cause. The bees will find themselves a new home, a new place to thrive. And that will last as long as it’s meant. I know nothing of a hive’s life cycle. I only know I mourn for this one.

 

Poor, Poor Bees

 

 

I was out and about the other day and thought I’d check in on the bees. I’ve been following them for a few years now, and you may recall from my first post about them, they looked great (as shown in the old photo above).

 

 

I’ve consulted and read and tried to understand this hive. After first discovering it, I was fascinated and sort of in love with the little workers. When that first winter at the new pad rolled around and the bees started disappearing from their hive, I fretted and worried. After a local bee-keeper told me this was normal for the season, I relaxed and looked forward to spring. Lo and behold – the bees showed up, just as predicted. And I loved them even more.

 

 

But their numbers appeared to be less than before, and to look at them, their hive seemed to be getting smaller. Each time I found myself in their vicinity, I’d look in on them. And each time I did, I saw fewer and fewer bees.

 

 

When I checked the hive a few days ago, my heart sank. It was a struggle to find any bees at all, and the hive looks dark and lifeless, as if no one is home. More than that, it has that same soulless look an abandoned house gets, as if it’s closing in on itself and dying from the inside. Like the life force that has kept it living for so long has simply disappeared. And now the hive is a shadow of its former self. And there’s nothing I can do about it.

 

 

Nature will take care of itself. (Dear lord, I hope that’s true.) I know bees are suffering the world over, and I don’t like it. But rather than obsess over it, I prefer to acknowledge how grateful I am to have found those bees in the first place. I’m so grateful to have admired their little world, and to have marveled at their very existence.

 

 

They will be missed. In more ways than one.

Not Good

 

 

I haven’t checked in with the bees for a while and yesterday when I did, it was not good.

 

When I first encountered the bees a few years ago, I was so smitten. Their hive seemed healthy, though I don’t really have a clue about that sort of thing, and there were a jillion of them. Now…

 

 

The bees’ numbers are visibly dwindling. The hive has the appearance of winter, and that simply isn’t the way it should be right now. We can all speculate until we’re blue in the face – drought, climate change, pesticides, pollution, etc. – but none of that will change the fact that the bees are going away.

 

Honestly, I try not to dwell on it too much, as a gal could drown in that muddy thought pool. Instead, I plan to check on the bees now and then and keep my fingers crossed. It’s nature, after all. I may be part of it, but I’m certainly not the boss of it.

Long Time No See

 

 

This weekend I ventured out to check on the bees. It’s been a while. As it’s winter, their numbers are low. The thing I like about that is being able to see the hive itself. When the bees are working the hive full-force, all you see is bees. The hive is covered in them. But not in winter.

 

I don’t know why I like these bees so much. Yes, I love knowing they pollinate my food and flowers. But there’s something more. Maybe it’s the shot of Nature they provide in L.A.’s concrete jungle. Maybe it’s their mystery. I don’t know. I was just glad to find they’re still there. And aren’t they beautiful!

 

One Sassy Azalea!

 

 

I have grown upon this branch,

and I have chosen fuchsia.

As for my brethren, pale and white -

for that I have no use-ya.

 

My too-short tenure during Spring

has led me to be brazen.

And yet I find my solid frock,

though bold and quite amazin’,

 

is not accepted by my kin.

No, they scorn and judge me.

They turn their coats of white away.

Not one has ever hugged me.

 

But I fear not! For I am loved

by bees in pollened regalia.

Say what you will, I do not care.

For I am one sassy azalea!

Bees! The Incredible Shrinking Hive

 

 

The bee dude tried to tell me, but I still had doubts. He said winter would lead to shrinking of the hive. What winter? We haven’t had one, so how could the hive possibly shrink?

 

I went to check on the bees recently and sure enough – the hive is shrinking. It’s crazy! And beautiful. And nature. On this one, I am merely an observer. I do believe there’s a whole lot of philosophy to be found in that hive, but I won’t bore you with my processing of that.

 

The bee dude also told me the hive will replenish itself as spring rolls into summer. We’ll see.

Bees! – Update

 

 

Mister brought home this photo of the bees we’ve been monitoring. It turns out they are experiencing a winter thinning of the hive, just like the farmers market bee keeper said they would.

 

He also told me those bees are magnificent engineers and that their hive would probably outlast me. But y’all, I gotta tell ya, that thing looks like it’s barely hanging on by a safety pin. If it does fall, I hope it doesn’t happen on a day when I’ve ventured out to check on them. Something tells me I would not wear a gazillion bee stings very well.

 

Now, honey – I can wear honey. But that’s another post entirely.

Photo Art

 

 

I took these photos yesterday.

 

 

Turned out pretty good.

 

 

Do you know what it is?

 

 

That’s right! It’s part of the bee hive I’ve been monitoring. It had fallen on the ground, empty. But the smell – oh! The beautiful honeyed aroma!

 

 

God bless the bees, and their hive art.

Bee Update

 

 

Remember a couple of days ago when I wrote about bees? Well, I was worried someone else might discover those honey bees and, through good intentions, accidentally manage to injure said bees. So I decided to consult an expert.

 

I headed over to a local farmers’ market and spoke with the honey guy. He told me those bees would most likely migrate south as soon as the cold air arrives. (As it’s been over 100 degrees for the last week, winter seems like a myth. But hey, it’s bound to show its face – eventually.) The honey guy said – and get this – as the bees head out of town, the hive will actually shrink and contract in on itself! He didn’t think it would disappear completely, though, and went on to say that as winter wanes, another batch of bees will move into the tiny, shrunken hive and it will then begin to grow in size again. Bees! Who knew?

 

Anyhoo, the honey guy advised me to just let the bees be. He said that if they’re not hurting anyone, those bees are doing a greater good in the environment and should be ignored. Well, as best I can tell, no one is being harmed by the bees, so I plan to keep their existence to myself. For now.

 

If anything crazy happens, I suppose I’ll change my mind. And I’ll let you know. In the meantime, there are some bees in L.A. And they’re healthy and (hopefully) happy. We need all the honey bees we can get.

Another Chance

 

 

Remember when I posted the above photo and shared how I’d missed my opportunity to take an awesome pic of the cactus flower at the new pad? Well, that cactus done gone and went and give me a second chance…

 

 

Actually, she’s got 9 (!) buds on her, so I’m blessed with multiple chances.

 

I love how gorgeous the flowers are. How something so soft and lovely springs forth from something so hard and prickly. The juxtaposition of those two forms gives me the smilies, I tell ya!

 

Mister and I are enjoying these cactus flowers as much as possible. We know they won’t last and we want to appreciate them while we may. Apparently, the bees know these flowers won’t last, as well. It would seem we’re all getting our fill…