Stroking bees

beein ra ra skirt

I’m a bit batty about bees. I love them and welcome them to the garden. Solitary bumble bees get on with their crucial work of pollination, minding their own business and buzzing from flower to flower. If I’m feeling reasonably brave I will gently stroke the furry body of a bee as it’s engrossed in pollen-gorging.

This slightly weird fascination of bee stroking has never backfired – I’ve not been stung – and usually the bee is so busy collecting pollen, it doesn’t notice my huge human finger touching it.Last year I became a member of the Bee Conservation Trust because they identified – by email – a black and white bee I’d seen. Having never seen or heard of zebra-like bees before I wanted to know what this one was. It turned out to be an ashy mining bee, a solitary bee and actually not uncommon, so you may see one if you keep your eyes open.

When I was 7 years old, visiting my Uncle Fred’s house and playing in the garden, I was always frightened to pass the lavender bushes which were smothered in bees. An adult used to accompany me past them as I was afraid I’d get stung. Now I know better – the bees are too busy to bother with mere humans. And as bees are under threat nowadays there are less of them; lavender tends to be less smothered and more sparsely sprinkled with visiting bees.

Being unafraid of bees is something I’ve hopefully passed on to granddaughter. She’s been fascinated by them since she was small and loves watching them. So far she’s not been brave enough to stroke one – but then I don’t do it that often either. You have to be in a brave mood….just in case!

1 thought on “Stroking bees

  1. Pingback: Purple | Eyes in the back of my Head

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