The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
Have you noticed that when you take an interest in something then it becomes very noticeable in daily life.
Perhaps you buy a new car then you seem to see similar cars everywhere.
I recently had a similar experience with kimchi. It’s a Korean pickled cabbage. Just recently I didn’t know what it was. Then I found out and there were references to it all over the place. Even a restaurant named ‘kimchi’!
Anyway that’s what’s happening to our allotment. No, it’s not covered in Korean style cabbage or familiar motor vehicles.
But since we got our hive, it’s covered in bees.
Okay don’t panic, I know this sounds pretty stupid.
Of course it’s covered in bees.
You just put a hive full of them on it!
I hear you yelling!
But the weird thing is there’s lots of different types of wild bee.
Today we were sitting taking in the sun and this little lass turned up.
<a href="http://“>miner bee
A tiny miner bee. She wanted to create a nest between the paving. Either the gap was too narrow after some burrowing or the local ant put her off.
Meanwhile, our beautiful comfrey plant with it’s drooping purple blooms has it’s own special bee.
A type of bumble that is too big to fit inside each bell shaped flower. So she has a cunning plan. She drills a tiny hole in the base and can then stick her tiny tongue (proboscis) through to collect the nectar. There’s a whole family of these bees focused on the task.
The hole here is clearly seen fringed with brown to the left of the bee.
This bee is sampling the nectar carefully.
Here’s the proboscis in action.
So then there’s another colony of larger bumble bees who’ve taken up residence under the storage box on our plot. They have a great feature in front of their house of a dandelion.
<a href="http://“>bumble bee nest
So four easily noted types of bees on one small allotment. How cool is that?
All these bees are important. The honey bee is in vogue at the moment and the predicament faced by bees battling pesticides, increasing monoculture and urbanization. But wild bees are also suffering. They all need protection and regard.
Do you see specific bees in your garden?
Are you growing plants that they will enjoy, like borage and comfrey?
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...