Happy Earth Day, and Have You Thought About Bees?

April 22, 2019

Happy Earth Day, and Have You Thought About Bees?


Although every day should be Earth Day, it’s cool that we have a day to heighten awareness and reflect on doing a better job caring for our world.

Checking on the Earth Day happenings at EarthDay.org, I found that one of the ongoing ecological campaigns is focused on bees, trying to reverse their declining populations. We have a bee-friendly habitat here at Glover Gardens, but I see that we can do more to ensure that bees remain an important part of our ecosystem and do their busy-bee pollination work. As the web site says, “we simply cannot survive without bees”. Have you thought about bees?

Bee on knockout rose at Glover Gardens
A busy bee on a knockout rose at Glover Gardens

I think people feel overwhelmed by our ecological problems because they can seem so vast, diverse and insurmountable. Maybe it’s a good idea to start out by focusing on just a few things we can do to nurture our planet, and grow it from there. Here at Glover Gardens, our efforts to be more green have centered on a reduced dependence on single-use plastics, a ratcheted-up recycling effort, and more organic gardening (in support of the bees). And I’m sure we’ll keep getting more mindful and more careful as we keep learning about how our actions either help or hurt the earth and all of its inhabitants. Like the bees.

It’s not easy being green.

Kermit the Frog

But it’s worth it. And, like Kermit, it’s what I want to be. For the birds, the bees, the grandchildren I don’t have yet, and you.

8 thoughts on “Happy Earth Day, and Have You Thought About Bees?”

    • Thank you so much! I feel greener now than I did when I woke up this morning. I had a day off from work and went to the grocery store, taking my reusable cloth bags with me, of course, but I forgot them in the car. (It’s a new habit, not yet muscle memory.) The checker thought I was crazy when I asked her just to toss everything back into the basket without bagging it, but I felt good. 🙂

    • Thank you, and the scary thing is that it’s not us that will be losing it, but the future wonderful people. The thought of leaving a hot garbage heap that’s missing a lot of important creatures for my heirs is not pleasant. I want to be on record as caring for the world we will hand off to them.

      • I agree. Maybe one day technology can help but it seems to not help as much today. Our young ones deserve a good and safe environment. 😊

  • I not only think about the bees, but last year I was rescuing them. I saw a post on Craigslist from a concerned gentleman who had a “birdhouse” that he noted was occupied by bees, and he was allergic to them so was hoping someone would come and rescue them so that they would not have to be killed. The “birdhouse” was right next to the front door of the house, so made going in and out to the car difficult to say the least. I called and said I would come and get them in the early evening when the sun went down. I have read a lot of books about bees, and so knew what I needed to do. In the evening they are settling in and not going out looking for flowers, etc. And I had some netting, jeans, a long-sleeved jean shirt and tennis shoes, with a hat to go over the netting. I put everything on, loaded up some large plastic bags and set out for the house. The “birdhouse” was much larger than I anticipated, but no problem. I tore a big garbage bag apart and covered the bees with it, had him turn off the light, opened my front car door and carried the large-size house into the front seat of the car by me. I had complete confidence that the bees would not sting me; I had already determined that they were a type of very generally docile bees, and being early evening, if they were carried carefully would not bother me. And I was right. I got them home to my mobile home park and into my tiny side yard where there were lots of plants, and I also knew how to feed them to keep them alive till more flowers came out. I set them on a stand in a good area where they were not too visible to others, and not a single sting. I took the cover off and went on in to bed.

    The next day I prepared a container of sugar water to ensure they were getting enough food. They understood that I was coming to help them, and again, not a single one tried to sting me as I held the container up for them and they all came to drink from it. When it was gone, I went back inside and left them to check their surroundings. After several days of this I attempted to carefully take the roof off the birdhouse, and though I could not get most of it off, I got it opened enough to see that what was inside it was a bunch of screens where the bees had their honeycombs and the larvae from the queen. I left it alone then and went inside. Of course in a mobile home park we are not supposed to keep bees or chickens, pigs, or anything other than a pet (of which I have more than one rescued senior dogs, three who have disabilities that range from being paranoid from abuse to having a collapsed trachea and being deaf, and one with near blindness). But we have lived here for years like this, and the dogs AND bees and any other creature that lives here or comes around is well taken care of).

    Anyway, one of my neighbors who was rather controlling and tried to stop anything that gave anyone happy memories told the manager that I had bees and that they were going to sting her (which they never would do without someone really bothering them in broad daylight), so of course the manager told me they had to go. So I looked again and miraculously found a preacher in the same area where I got the bees to begin with who had beehives and was saying he would rescue bees too. I called and made arrangements to take them to his home/church and I went out in the same way in the evening with my significant other, Richard driving as he did not want me to go alone in the dark. As I picked up the bee house, I accidentally slipped on the wet ground, and the bee house sort of turned a little bit up, but it did not fall completely as I held it tightly. THEN the bees got a bit upset, and one came out and gave me a tiny sting, but it never hurt very bad at all, and they calmed down once they were in the car. When we got there I realized it was just two blocks away from where I had rescued them, so I let the original owners know so that they could get their original “birdhouse” back from the preacher as I think he had other bee hotels so to speak where he could put them. I was so truly sad, but I am still a friend of birds, bees, earthworms, spiders, and other good wild creatures who show up from time to time at my home.

    Did you know that besides dying from pesticides, etc., that one out of six beehives formed in nature is all that makes it because without a bee house, they will often starve to death since they are unable to form their honeycombs. Perhaps out in nature, say where there are hollow logs, etc., this may not be true, but in normal backyards in neighborhoods it is true for certain. I still love bees, and I miss mine so much! I loved taking care of them and greeting them everyday. It got to where I could go out in a short-sleeved shirt and they would never sting me at all. Not all bees are like that, but these were. Oh, and the lady who was so afraid of them died, but her husband is still there, so unless he dies, I still cannot get bees again, but I would take the chance if I could. I may see if there is someone with a farm nearby (we do have those) who could use help with the bees, and I could perhaps go and help in exchange for a tiny bit of the honey, and to ensure that they are getting enough food so they never starve.

    Every year I have something like this happen with some wild creature or other, and I call it my annual “science project.” Years ago, a Sonoran bee in Arizona decided to make her nest in my laundry basket in a condo where I lived. And so I got to watch her with her offspring (they are different from other types and often make nests in the ground and burrow into them and they are loners somewhat too, but they do mate, etc. I asked a friend who is one of the most knowledgeable friends I have on nature and creatures of this area of Southern California. Cool, hmm?

    • Wow, Anne, what a great story. You are a bee-whisperer. On behalf of my future grandchildren, thank you for the care you are taking of the small creatures of our world.

      This story made my day.

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