Bee Wilderness

I am bee-ing uncharacteristically envious. My blogging friend  Ruth,  who reflects on life in central Christchurch, is now a host parent  to 20,000 bees. She is part of a “buzzy movement” to bring  bees into the city’s  green spaces and gardens, as well as onto the city ‘s roof spaces. I am envious because I would love to host a hive but, sadly,  most of my neighbours wouldn’t love me if I were to become a host family.  ( I can hear the complaints about bee droppings on their washing  before I even finish this thought in my head 😦 )

Sigh! But, even though a hive would be a difficulty, I do have a flourishing bee population in my garden, anyway. This is mainly because, this year, I have left the plantings, in my raised garden beds, to run to wilderness.

The Wilderness

The Wilderness

I was about to replant the beds with orderly rows of vegetables when I realised that, by doing so, I would be removing a vital food supply, and haven, for the  bees and  little birds. I reasoned that it was easier for me to find an  alternative supply of vegetables than it was for the small ones to find sustenance elsewhere. So the wilderness of overgrown parsley,

Parsley Paradise

Parsley Paradise

leeks, sage and self-sown borage

Self-sown Borage

Self-sown Borage

and  cerinthe remained.

Cerinthe, sweet as honey..

Cerinthe, sweet as honey..

My reward….no honey… but the  bee chorus  is so humming that I can hear it from at least a metre’s distance.  The wild growth in  the planter boxes is supplemented, in the background, by the prolific flowering of my  ceanothus   blue sapphire . They are a-shimmer with bee activity, although you would hardly think so, since I have only managed to capture one of their number!

Ruth’s bees may travel up to five kilometres to gather food. I wonder if I am close enough for any of them to visit me. Wouldn’t that be lovely if they did?  Meanwhile Jack and I enjoy the bees that are already here.

Jack bee-listening

Jack bee-listening

© silkannthreades

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94 thoughts on “Bee Wilderness

  1. Russel Ray Photos

    That borage is beautiful!

    Sadly, since you have a wordpress.com blog, I won’t be able to leave you a billion LIKEs as I usually do since LIKEs on wordpress.com blogs are not working for me………. 😦

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Flower arranging for our mutual benefit | silkannthreades

  3. Clanmother

    I have been thinking a great deal about our ability to integrate within our surroundings. Humanity seems to be in a perpetual and frantic race to tame nature. And yet, it seems that nature has a way of taming humanity. I do love your posts…
    “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
    ― Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Nature always seems to be taming us but we are rather wilful and need a lot of taming-training 😦 That is a scary, scary quote! Thank you for loving my posts; it is so encouraging to have your support.

      Reply
  4. Tracy Rhynas

    Nice to see your whole garden – it is so neat and tidy, even the ‘wilderness’ is a neat wilderness! There has also been a lot of publicity in the UK this year about the honey bees too – their numbers are dwindling due to their habitat disappearing and the use of insecticides – but I am not sure I know anyone who is actually hosting their own bee hive.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, you are right! It is a contained and somewhat tidy wilderness! From the little I have read on the subject, it is actually quite amazing how much food bees can gather in an urban environment. Perhaps insecticides are more of a threat than loss of traditional habit. Are bees in good shape in South Africa? I remember the ferocity of the bees in Lusaka but also the delicious honey we ate there.

      Reply
      1. Tracy Rhynas

        I believe our bees are in good shape – Johannesburg is actually one of the greenest cities in the world, although I am not sure now long that will last. What I am worried about in my immediate vicinity are some rather large holes I have found bored into the woodwork on my back porch – maybe some kind of wasp or beetle?? The holes are large enough to stick my finger in, not that I will do that!! I keep finding wood shavings outside the hole, so whatever is in there is really making itself at home, and I am not sure it should be!!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh yikes! I wonder what is making the holes! Interesting to learn that Johannesburg is one of the greenest cities in the world. Impressive.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, if you ever need some parsley, just shout out! Funny Jack, I really think he must like the bees because he was outside again this morning, lying on the grass, facing the planter boxes. I wonder how his ears hear the bees; very loudly?

      Reply
  5. Letizia

    I always love when you post photos of your garden! I love bees too and know just what you mean by that wonderful humming. I’ve never been tempted to have my own hive but we’re friends with the local apiarist so visit his hives whenever we buy honey and it’s been so fascinating to learn more about the bees. Enjoy your lovely garden!

    Reply
      1. Letizia

        Never off the honeycomb, if that’s what you mean. But the honey itself is delicious.

        The funny thing is that I’m a French expat living in the U.S. and by coincidence these honey farmers are also French. They moved to the U.S. 10 years ago and the husband set up hives. For some reason that made me laugh – to bump into a fellow Frenchperson in the form of my honey man!

        Reply
  6. jaggh53163

    Galivanta – Your garden is lovely – The Lord is truly an artist – even with the wild things.
    The best part – This arrived in my inbox and I didn’t have to look for it. Thank you for offering the option to follow you by email.

    Reply
  7. Forest So Green

    Your garden looks very welcome to the bees. I like your corner with the hanging baskets. Do you have a bench there too?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The corner with the hanging baskets doesn’t have a bench. I have often thought about putting one there but ‘thoughts’ are as far as I have got. Perhaps I am waiting for the bench that is ‘just right’ 😉

      Reply
  8. Shakti Ghosal

    How the situation is occurring regarding the rapidly declining bee population all over the globe seems to be a major ecological disaster in the making. We clearly need more ‘Ruths’ in the world today.

    Shakti

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I couldn’t agree more. And even in big cities like London and New York it is possible for people to host beehives on their roof tops. We can do more to help the bees.

      Reply
  9. Mrs. P

    I love that some of the prettiest flowers comes from plants that have been allowed to go wild. That’s the latest buz from my corner of the world….bzzzz.bzzzz.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope they do enjoy their visits. Butterflies…..sadly, I see very few. However, the few I have seen already are monarch butterflies which means they have survived their winter hibernation.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Very wild! For me, that is. Usually I have everything very tidy. This is the loveliest time of year for the garden. Later, when it is summer everything starts to dry up and lose its vividness. You said your colours at the moment are purple. I find that there is a hint of purple in my spring garden ; I will watch and see if it intensifies towards autumn.

      Reply
  10. YellowCable

    I think that would be cool to have a bee hive (the one that you raise) in your back yard. My concern is they may sting you or other people around. I am always fascinated by a demonstrated bee hive in a museum (one side is a glass panel so you can see bees in working).

    I think I am bee-ing envious of your back yard 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I suppose a sting is always a possibility but the bees in my garden always seem very content to mind their own business. Aww; how nice of you to bee envious of my backyard 😀 I am happy to share it with you any day! The bees won’t mind either.

      Reply
  11. coulda shoulda woulda

    in my pastoral fantasies i have a bee hive but in real life i just have lavendar so the bees can enjoy them otherwise my husband says i would end up on the news as the woman who got eaten alive by her bees in London…

    Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          🙂 Staff! Yes, wouldn’t that be a help, although if staff means all the complications of Downton Abbey then maybe not. Most of us have enough drama in our lives…..

  12. afrenchgarden

    I have often wondered if bees all over the world go for the same plants. Cerinthe and borage are a favourite in my garden and in yours too! The Anthophora love Cerinthe and they are some of the cutest bees. They are a similar shape to bumble bees but not as stripy. some have green eyes which I find very cute but they do fly very quickly much faster than bumbles. I agree, the garden would not be the same without the buzz of the bees.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The buzz is really heavenly. I tried to record it but it was difficult to capture on my primitive equipment. I need to study the bees more closely to try and understand what types I have. At the moment they are all just a blur to my eyes. The bees seemed completely unbothered by my presence amongst them.

      Reply
      1. afrenchgarden

        That’s exactly what I like; to be in the garden as they go about their life. They are unbothered as I watch them and I enjoy sharing the pleasure of the flowers in the garden with them.

        Reply
        1. afrenchgarden

          Actually I am in Surrey exchanging damp, wet weather for warm sunny life on the Charente :(. But I have been helping my daughter after a small op and enjoying so much being with my newest granddaughter. She is very cuddly, so I am very happy with the exchange.

  13. utesmile

    What a wonderful world for a bee! I wished to be one in your garden! … and that parsley, I can taste it already, a good source of iron and vitamin C, I have never seen such a huge one though! Love your garden! ♥

    Reply
      1. utesmile

        Oh I so would love to come into your garden and enjoy a hot drink there with you, let the beauty sink in and let go and indulge into the peace and calm there!
        Parsely soup is a good idea!

        Reply
  14. ordinarygood

    Oh bees, parsley, ceonothus and gorgeous gardens and the well behaved Jack!
    I miss the bees but there is just too much pesticide used all round the perimeters of my garden – neighbours and the Council.
    Speaking of unwanted dollops on washing – the Tui traffic has seen something of an increase in guano about the place with one strategic deposit over several items of washing on the line…tee hee.
    My Mum used to dry parsley with her dehydrator. Freezing the chopped up leaves might be simpler.
    I enjoyed your blues and greens here on yet another grey, stormy, wet day.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, yes, wild flying life and washing are not a good mix! But, at least, we don’t have to put up with fruit bats vs washing as my sister does in Cairns!
      Glad to have brought some colour to your grey, stormy day. I could hardly believe your weather forecast……
      Yes, freezing would probably work well. I have tried using the microwave as a dehydrator; not with great success though.

      Reply
        1. ordinarygood

          I choose to do that:-) They have supped long and frequently today. I imagine this weather is affecting other food supplies for them. I keep hoping the bottle brushes will burst forth but some sunshine is probably needed. They don’t lack for water now!

  15. cindy knoke

    Oh it’s gorgeous and you have what I call a Darwinian garden, the fittest plants take over!! My favorite type of garden. Poochini is pretty darn cute too! Great shots~

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      A Darwinian Garden; that’s the one 🙂 ! Does this mean that parsley will rule the world one day? Better go and speak to it and make sure we are still on best terms. I need you here to photograph the birds in the borage.

      Reply
  16. melodylowes

    What a beautiful yard you have…any bee would buzz in happily, I’m sure! My husband’s grandmother had a little path through the trees that led to her apiary in days gone by – long gone, but a fun thought to know that she had her own bees and honey on this property once.

    Reply
      1. melodylowes

        No – unfortunately not. There sure would be a lot of material for them to work with and brew their honey in this yard – it’s too bad that the apiary got taken out years ago.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Too bad, indeed. But how is the pollination of the crops carried out? Are there commercial bee hives in strategic places on the farm?

        2. melodylowes

          There are a few crops for which the farmers set up bees, but most either are self-pollinating or the bees work for free. Nice of them, don’t you think?

  17. lizzierosejewellery

    Goodness, what are you going to do with all that parsley? Looks a lovely spot for the bees, and the purply blue colour scheme is so pretty. I have borage growing wild outside my house in Portugal, which I will harvest one day and do something healthful with it! Cath

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, I am rather overwhelmed by parsley! It is not in short supply! Perhaps I should sell bunches at the gate 😀 The borage flowers I eat regularly because they taste of cucumber. I am still trying to decide how I want to eat the leaves. I did stir fry them the other day but mixed them with spinach so don’t really know how they taste.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          The flowers would be lovely in a tuna sandwich. The leaves I think have to be eaten with caution, as in it is not wise to eat too many. Parsley pesto or chimichurri….

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