Watching busy bees is a lesson for life

Published 7:20 am Wednesday, March 13, 2024

By Harold Brummett
Denmark Star Route

The pear tree is in full bloom. Walking underneath sounds of bees drown out all other sounds. Surround sound buzzing. Humans are ignored – there are bigger things to worry about. 

Other pollinators are there as well, although no bumblebees as of yet. Perhaps the bumbles are still sleeping.  

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Color, movement and sound transform the tree from a static state underneath a vibrant blue sky to a pulsating purveyor of life. Pollen sacks filled and nectar stored internally for the repeated trips to the hive. 

These bees look like mine from a home set up for them. Perhaps some are from a wild hive ensconced somewhere in the woods, cast from one of the domestic hives last year or the year before. 

Stepping closer to a bloom, the workers are examined for their health. Mites sometimes latch on to a bee sucking bee blood like a tick. The fact that the leech can be seen by the naked eye would be as if a human had a parasite the size of a football. 

Tattered wings indicate an old worker who has spent their working lives outside the hive collecting food for her sisters. 

The just hatched bee spends the very first part of her life cleaning cells and general maintenance until it is her time to launch into the wide world. The work is for the hive, the community, the species and dedication to the task is resolute – a life given in service. 

Faint fragrance of pear blossoms ride the air calling out to even more pollinators and they answer the call. The worry now is about a killing frost, and hoping a blackberry winter is not too harsh.

Nothing to do now but wait for summer and the harvesting of fruit. Worrying about the weather is futile, as farmers immemorial have learned. 

Thankful for not having to depend solely on the harvest, prayers are lifted up nonetheless.