Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How Having Honeybees Changed Me

We were given an empty bee hive by our beekeeper friend.  We placed this hive in one corner of our garden and waited.  Earlier in the spring we saw some bees buzzing around but a few days later there was no activity.  This week we again saw bees buzzing around and heard even more buzzing from inside.  A quick peek confirmed that our empty hive was no longer empty.  As I work in the garden I noticed some changes pre- and post-bee.

Pre-bee:  I was petrified of anything that buzzed close to me.  I would go immediately into full panic mode.

Post-bee:  I can stand in the middle of a swarming pile of bees with no problem (and no fancy bee gear).  I follow the rules of staying calm and making slow, deliberate movements.  The bees and I get along just fine.

Pre-bee:  I was determined that if I could not eat it I would not grow it in the garden.  Why water something that was giving me nothing in return?

A Grouping of Marigolds


Zinnia Seedlings

Post-bee:  I have piles of flowers growing and more flower seeds planted.  Rather that just one or two flowers, I have groupings of the same type of flower spread all over the garden.  The more flowers the better.  Flowers even make an appearance in the main garden.

Pre-bee:  Weeds were a major nuisance to be removed from the garden.  While I was never into spraying any chemicals or pesticides, I would work hard to pull all of them up.

Post-bee:  I have embraced having weeds in the garden.  Right now very little is blooming in the garden.  The bees have flocked to several different blooming weeds.  The rattlesnake weed above is one very annoying weed that is near impossible to eradicate.  I pulled up a bunch but got busy with other garden chores before I got it all.  The bees love it though.  I have plenty to keep them happy until the rest of the garden is in full swing!

Honeybees (and other types of bees) have really influenced my thinking on gardening.  In addition to thinking about what to grow for myself, I now think about what to plant for them.  I might not have the best garden, but I have a happy garden.

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