Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Wild bees and rosemary

The Earthly Gardener by Bobbi A. Chukran
February 20, 2007

Dear friends,

I’m sitting gazing out the window to my garden, and am happy to see that my little swarm of wild bees are back! They disappeared for a few months, and I was worried about them. I have no idea where they live, but a beekeeper friend identified them for me soon after they appeared here a few years ago…turns out they are honeybees! He told me he’ll help me capture them and put them into a hive, but I’m not sure I want the responsibility of tending a beehive. The bees seem to be doing fine on their own.

One surprise…they LOVE rosemary! My rosemary plants bloom off and on year-round here, and I never thought about that being a good source of pollen, or nectar. Apparently the bees think otherwise. I see a handful of them swarming the plant this morning, but last August there were thousands out there. The idea of rosemary-flavored honey is intriguing, I will admit.

I was glad to see the bees in the garden because they help the plants with pollination. One reason I have a totally organic garden is so that the beneficial insects can thrive in it and aren’t killed off by pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Too many of our native pollinators are disappearing because of widespread spraying of crops. For me, that’s reason enough to go organic.

Until tomorrow….dig it!

bobbi c.
Copyright ©2007 bobbi a. chukran.

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