The Circle of Life



Yesterday Mister and I awoke to find a dead hummingbird outside the kitchen door. The feeders are located nearby and we don’t know if he mistakenly flew into the glass or what. (Mister thought I should title this post “The Circle of Crack,” as those danged hummingbirds can’t seem to get enough of the syrup we make and place in the feeders.)


The little guy was just lying there. He was still beautiful, even in his death. (And though this specimen is all browns and is probably a female, I’ll keep referring to it as a male.)


I love hummingbirds. I love anything that fertilizes my plants and helps my food grow. I see dead honey bees all the time, and that’s heartbreaking, too. Seeing this little guy is just as sad for me.


Right or wrong, I placed the little guy in the yard. He’s part of the circle of life. And that’s okay. It really is.

The Honeybees



I went to check on the bees recently, the ones I wrote about a while back. I was wondering if the new season had brought any change to the hive, as the Bee Keeper I consulted earlier had said the hive would shrink as the weather got cooler.


So far, nothing new to report. In fact, those bees looked happier than denuded larks in a thistle patch. They were buzzing about as if their very lives depended on it (and okay, I suppose that is the case) and there was immense activity at the hive. I’ve not met their queen (and don’t really care to, thank-you-very-much), but that chick has one devoted hive, I tell ya.


A neighbor of mine recently had their tree raped (that’s when a tree is butchered instead of pruned). The guys who assaulted the tree found not only an extremely elevated opossum den on their initial inspection, but also a bee hive. And before they’d proceed with the tree’s hack job, they required the homeowner to remove the opossums and eradicate the bees. So the neighbors did just that. I have no idea if the opossums were killed or not, but I do know the bees were exterminated. Not moved, just killed. And these neighbors have a huge vegetable garden that requires pollination. Go figure.


The whole scene broke my heart, as I have immense respect for bees. I’m not super-friendly with possums, but thinking of an entire family being wiped out doesn’t sit too pretty. And as for the tree, well, I’m hoping it will fill in.


Anyhoo, when I went to check on the bees I happened upon a while back, it did my heart good to see they were still doing their thang. Long may they buzz.




I’m not afraid of bees. Yes, I’ve been stung. I’ve stepped on a bee and suffered the flip-side of soft clover beneath bare feet. I’ve had to make a paste of Arm & Hammer and smear it on a swollen arm, hoping to draw out a stinger. It’s been years since the last incident, but I’ve had my fair share of bee stings.


Recently I was walking around and doing my best to look up in this world. As I took a break, I was thinking about an old pine tree whose shade was shielding me from 100+ degree heat. As I stood there, ruminating on that tree’s health, I noticed something was a bit out of the ordinary. Way up in that pine tree was a honey bee nest at least 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide, covered in about a million, billion, godzillion bees.



The honey-hoarders were having themselves a grand old time, tending business and flying about. There were no flowers in the immediate area, so I guess they travel for their hooch, then return home to elevated safety.




Honey bees are dwindling, friends. You probably knew that already. Personally, I’m always happy to see them. I know their hard work is greatly responsible for the food I eat. (And I eat a lot of food, y’all.) Each time I spot a dead bee on the sidewalk, it makes me sad. Like most folks, I don’t know how we’re going to survive if our honey bees don’t make it. The jury seems to mostly be out on what’s causing the bee population to die off, so I’ll hold back judgment until more definitive information is available. The reasons don’t change the way I feel, though.



So I’m not sure what to think of this particular bee hive. Though I spotted this bevy of bees in a residential area, I don’t think they’re hurting anyone. I suppose I’ll try to contact the city of L.A. and let them know of the bees’ existence. Or maybe I won’t. My personal jury is out on this one. Any suggestions?