I like bees. Pretty much any kind of bees.
I think they’re beautiful and fun and not scary. (Wasps are a different story, but as this post is about bees, we will not talk about wasps.) I love to think about social bees, about beehives and colonies, these many bodies working toward a single purpose of hive survival. I love to go to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and watch the hive at work. I don’t mind that carpenter bees burrow in my fence posts (which are too slim to really be useful for them), and I love the fat bumblebees that hang out in my lavender bush.
But of course, mostly I love honeybees.
How can you not? They’re so fuzzy and adorable. And not aggressive.
I have been reading lately about Colony Collapse Disorder. It’s a scary thing. I’m not a scientist, of course (as evidence by my repeated description of bees as “cute” and “adorable”), but I’m nervous about this CCD thing. It makes me sad and worried for our future.
Which has me thinking about keeping bees. Sounds crazy, right? But seriously. Urban beekeeping is kind of a thing, and though I’m technically not urban (suburban, really), I think it could be done. Of course there is a lot of research to do, but I think it’s worth investigating. I have a lovely yard full of flowering plants in different phases of maturity: daisies, lilies, irises, daffodils, tulips, lavendar, bee balm, a plum tree, coneflowers, some other stuff I can’t identify yet, plus a handful of flowering annuals in pots. There are plenty of folks in my neighborhood who also have yards full of plants, and there is a gigantic honeysuckle bush taking over the fence that I share with one of my neighbors. Although, in looking at some of these pictures, I think I might need to plant more flowers. Which is fine by me, because I’ve been looking for ways to reduce my lawn footprint – already we are expanding the existing border gardens at the back of the yard to extend around the perimeter of the yard; we’ve put in a 3-tier raised bed for vegetables, etc. etc. We’re trying.
And I think it’s not entirely nuts to try this beekeeping too.