Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a bee house

On Sunday, we put this little sign in our front yard. It's quite easy to qualify to be a certified wildlife habitat so it's not like we have something super special in our yard. You just need to have a water source, some food sources, bushes and trees for nesting, things like that. The point of setting the sign is to remind people that we are not alone here, that how we care for our little piece of land affects the well-being of many creatures. And maybe then people would be a bit more forgiving of our wilder-than-average organic landscape.

After we set the sign, I wondered if there would ever be any other wildlife besides birds, squirrels and an occasional fox or coyote running on through. The dogs would prevent anything else from living here, I thought . . .


. . . yesterday, as I was making my daily rounds visiting the plants, this is what I saw.


Honey bees have moved into this birdhouse sitting on a waist-high tree stump under the branches of a juniper tree and right beside a Korean lilac blooming its heart out. I am nearly speechless -- but so, so happy to have this sacred insect that connects the worlds. I stood just a couple of feet from the entrance and tried repeatedly to get pictures. There were dozens, maybe hundreds, of bees going in and out but this was the best I could do. This is swarm time in Colorado, that would explain their synchronistic timing -- since they're here now, we're interested in their well-being, maybe even transferring them to proper housing. But then again, they chose the birdhouse so who's to say they should have to move? Could they survive a winter in a birdhouse? Should we leave them bee? So many questions.

The bees were the first thing I thought of when I woke up today. When I went to them, there were only a few going in and out -- it's cold, dark and wet here today, and thundering at this very moment. I hope they're OK. I hope they stay.

I wonder if I could become a bee priestess, a Melissa . . .

6 comments:

Marie said...

Having the bees is a really special thing. I know while living in Vermont several years ago there was concern about the bees disappearing...I think they have since recovered.
A bee priestess?...do tell :)

woman with wings said...

Hi Marie, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they stay. Priestesses of some goddesses were named Melissa and called bees. And they cared for bees too. I need to do more research if the bees stay!! Have you read Starhawk's book The Fifth Sacred Thing? There's mention of bee priestesses in it and I just remembered that.

Gracie said...

Oh your bee story is too wonderful! The bees, too, can't resist certifying your gardens! (It's Wendy from SEW, came to see your boro piece). And, as a fellow bare-foot devotee, I was tickled to read it has health benefits. Wow.

woman with wings said...

Hi Wendy, I like that -- the bees certified the garden -- thanks! And they're still here, keeping fingers and toes and eyes crossed. Yes, once in a while we have dumb luck and find out we're doing something that's actually good for us. Ha.

helen said...

Oh how blessed you are. It is always such an honour when wild things choose to share our space...and they bring such happiness don't they? We had bumble bees set up in one of our compost bins last year and we have a hedgehog :~)))) Blessed bee!

woman with wings said...

Helen -- it looks like they're going to stay -- yay! Yes, they make me pretty happy -- I know very little about hedgehogs but I gather they make you happy, too -- yay! So, we're both blessed. So mote it bee!