Busy as Bees

Bumblebee on Hot Lips salvia

Tonight at dusk when I was sprinkling the basil through the hose nozzle, I saw a couple of bumblebees frantically getting their last drops of nectar from the Hot Lips salvia bush. It was really hard to get a picture of this one because he was in such a hurry floating and buzzing from one bloom to the next.

Pippin was sitting on the swing with me this week and she noticed as I had, that the honeybees favor the lavender, while the big black bumbles stick to the salvia. Or maybe it is that there are so many honeybees that they get first pick of the bushes, and the few bumblebees segregate to whatever is left over.

The honeybees like the lambs ears, too. I am thrilled to have so many bushes near my swing where I can see hardworking creatures fulfilling their purposes. I put this one in the shadow of my head to get a good shot.

Two lavenders and Hot Lips

Mr. Glad and I have been as busy as bees ourselves. For four days we took care of little Scout again; he keeps us running up and down the stairs and all over the garden, and sometimes we take walks through the neighborhood along the bike path. I showed him the wild fennel and how the young shoots especially are tender for munching and taste like licorice.

wild fennel and blackberry bloom

He’s a quite friendly fellow, and as we were standing on the side of the path nibbling our greens he was lucky to see some people walking a dog. He held up the fennel frond and called to them, “We’re having a picnic!”  It’s only been about three weeks since I was dreaming about picnics I might make happen Someday. That fennel picnic happened with so little effort and no planning at all.

PomPom was just writing about picnics this week and pointed out that our Lord’s feeding of the 5,000 was a blessed picnic indeed. I’m pleased to see that my grandson has a good start on appreciating how substantial are the little things God has growing along the path of life.

Last week I was buzzing with joy, flying down the state a ways to greet the new grandson “Liam.” A couple of days after that, Mr. Glad and I went to a Giants baseball game, which is pretty much an all-day commitment. It was fun to see our team beat L.A.

Then there were the several days with Scout and his mama. And no sooner had they departed for home than we were sent on three errands of mercy in one day. My mister had to drive a distance for the last one of these and isn’t home yet.

Back in April in the Prologue of Ohrid I noticed a couple of references to saints whom St. Nikolai compared to honeybees flying about carrying honey, or laboring diligently at the work for which they were created. Just watching the bees as I rest on my swing makes me happy, and the sight of them reminds me that after a short break I need to be up and at my work again.

I’d like to be more like the honeybees. When the last bumblebee was anxiously trying to get more salvia nectar, all the honeybees had gone from the lavender. They knew enough to give up for the day and go to bed. And so shall I.

7 thoughts on “Busy as Bees

  1. Your garden looks beautiful! And apparently evokes beautiful reflections.
    I don't think we have honeybees in Guam, but we do have boonie bees, which sting multiple times because they don't lose their stingers.

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  2. (You have such a nice writing voice, GJ. Just saying so.) About the bees: Adam says that the scout bees go out first, before the others, and they determine what kind of nectar/pollen the hive will collect that day. They return with the instructions. Then, for that day, the bees from that hive will (generally) only collect what the scouts have instructed. So honeybees do not just go out and indeterminately collect whatever they like. They have instructions. I believe that bumblebees and mason bees don't do that. They collect whatever they like, and jump from flower type to flower type.

    You sound like just the kind of person who might enjoy having a hive of bees. Have you ever considered it? One of Adam's favorite things is to sit and just watch his bees as they work. If you have a calm, quiet disposition (which you seem to), then you'd probably be good at working in the hives and keeping the bees calm too. Just a thought. Your lavender is beautiful.

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  3. What loveliness: the bees. Thank you for mentioning the picnic thinking, too.
    When I am home, I feel so blessed with things to do. I like doing them in my own time. I DID have a little honey on my cinnamon bread this morning. Thank you, bees.
    You are a blessed grandmother, Gretchen Joanna!

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  4. I love it when the bees are humming alongside me when I'm gardening. Slowly my kids are getting rid of their fear of bees. I always tell them that the bees aren't interested in them, they are only interested in flowers. It's too bad the bees have such a bad reputation among children. They are such a wonderful and important part of nature.

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  5. M.K., yes I have considered bee-keeping, especially when I learned a decade or more ago about the decline in beehive health and populations. I'm afraid that project will have to go on the long list after learning to play the piano and knitting!
    Thank you for the information about bee scouts…one thing I could tackle is just learning more about bees. I have a book or two waiting on the shelf already!

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  6. I agree with the other reader who said you have a very nice writing voice… indeed : ) Really enjoyed this post. Made me think about a favorite saying of the Desert Fathers (although I'm remiss to tell you exactly who) so this is a paraphrase ..'Blessed are the bees, not only because they labor, but because they labor for others'

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