Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Buzz Off!

I was working in the backyard for an hour or so this morning while Tex was running around enjoying his usual pastime of chasing, (and never actually managing to catch), lizards in among the rocks.

As I walked past the Texas Ebony tree I noticed a dark shape on one of the lower branches. I looked closer and realized that a swarm of bees had formed on the branch. They seemed really mellow, not many were swarming around the tree, and so I took a quick photo, and then Tex and I went inside the house and left them well alone.

I really like bees. I have been very concerned in recent years reading about Colony Collapse Disorder which has been destroying colonies of honey bees around the world. I have been very heartened this summer to see way more bees than I did last year which is so important for pollination.

Most native southwestern bees, of which there are approximately forty five species I believe, are solitary creatures, but there have been several reports of aggressive swarms of bees in our area of late. Without wanting to overreact, I checked in with Lady Bug Pest Control , (which is an environmentally responsible pest control company), just to make sure that leaving the swarm alone was the best thing for the bees, and for us. They said it was fine as long as they aren't bothering us which they aren't, and that they will probably move on when the scouter bees have found a new home for the swarm over the next few hours, or days.

In the meantime I am enjoying watching them, from a distance. I nursed a patient many years ago who was Buddhist, and he taught me that if a bee is buzzing around and is unwanted, all one has to do is to say out loud "be gone, your presence is not required here", and the bee will fly away. I have to admit I have done this many times over the years for solitary bees, and I swear it has always worked. Now I just need to say it a few more times, for a few more bees! Hopefully it will work, and the bees will fly away unharmed to make a new home in a safe place that doesn't bother anyone else.


Amber said...

Wow! What a fantastic photo! I would have been a little unnerved I have to confess. But like you I would want them to happily buzz off and find a happy home where they could continue to multiply and pollinate.
I like the buddhist wisdom.
A little vinegar sprayed in the doorway or on the back of a sweet bright flower of the toddler variety works well too. Although my little one is usually dressed like a colorful flower and is sweet like one too, I don't really want bees to be attracted to him, so when I see them around I spray the back of his shirt with vinegar- so far not one bee sting this year!

bodaat said...

oh sister, i do commend you! i have to admit that the first thing i would have done it called an exterminator. i have a fear of swarms of bees and bees nests. one bee i can handle but that picture gave me the heebie jeebies! i am so glad that we have people like you around who can act the way that you do. i so admire your desire to do what is right not only for your you family but the environment as well! most people don't think about the latter. i am so glad to have you as a friend and if i find a bee's nest/swarm in my backyard maybe i will now call you first before calling the pest control.