Solitude is something I crave at times. I don’t enjoy crowds and noise. I don’t enjoy having to make small talk. Some days I just don’t want to be around people at all! So when I thought about solitude the first things I thought of were quiet walks in the countryside, or sitting quietly crocheting or reading. But how to sum that up in a photo?
Then my mind jumped to Solitary Bees … who unlike Bumblebees and Honeybees, live alone, in solitude, rather that in a big hive. My kind of bees, I guess 🙂
Back in February I foresaw the future. When you get to know your area and the wildlife around you, you can begin to foresee what’s coming. I foresaw that this little unfurling bud would become a beautiful collection of Flowering Currant flowers.
And I was right 🙂 Here is progress so far:
Looking a little further into the future, as the weather warms, I am predicting lots of bees 🙂 Here are some bees on the same bush last year:
Yesterday a little after my quick early morning visit to a patch of daisies, I ventured out again around the village. It was warm but with a cold wind which was making my shots a bit tricky as flowers and leaves swayed at unhelpful moments. However I did get a fair few nice shots of lovely springy things.
I was really pleased to see that the Bumblebees were busy on the Flowering Currants over by the village pond, and even more pleased to have a break in the wind where I managed to get a few decent shots. I love the low throbbing hum of a large Bumblebee approaching. In the past that might have made me run a mile but now I am not afraid of the bees, just pleased to see them and of course, the camera comes out! Wasps are another matter!
Here’s a lovely little bee for you from a week or two back, before the weather turned wet and blustery.
Remember the bees? They swarmed in our house, which was a tad unfortunate, and then set up home in the soffits of our roof. We grew quite fond of them after a while as they didn’t bother us once they were settled.
Sadly their nest has since been overtaken by wasps which insist on coming into our bathroom on a daily basis! We’ve had to resort to insect-killing spray 😦 Hopefully soon the weather will get too cold for them and we have read that they rarely return to old nests. Fingers tightly crossed that’s true – I’m so sick of having to warily enter my bathroom incase there is a wasp buzzing around in there.
I remember our bees with fondness … much preferable to wasps!
At my mum’s the other day I was watching Bumblebees busy collecting nectar on Teasels. They are very methodical, going round and round the teasel visiting every little flower. It seems like a dull, repetitive job, but they do it with apparent enthusiasm. I think I could do with a bit of their attitude to the dull jobs like cleaning and tidying! I am tempted to get teasels in our garden too as they are great for the bees, and also look so impressive and sculptural right through the year.
Sometimes when I think about the bees I get a twinge in my foot, right where I was stung. It twinged when I heard they’d come back, along with a shudder of fear right down my spine. Because that day, that day was the stuff of nightmares. Bees everywhere, a sting, and no sleep all. But they live with us now. We co-habit. We have the house. They have the soffits. I didn’t even know what a soffit was until they decided to live in it. Funny word, soffit. So there they are, unmovable, squatting in the soffit, and really, as it turns out, they’re not so bad. I still shower with the window open, bringing the countryside in despite their proximity in their soffit home. And sometime soon, when I think of the bees it will be with a smile not a twinge.
I am fond of bees. Correction, I was fond of bees. I like bees outside on plants and buzzing happily. I like taking photos of them about their business. I do not like them in my house, gathering in the windows and setting up home in my loft. I especially do not like them underfoot. I had never been stung before. I was a bee-sting virgin. Just that one false step and my foot descended on a sleepy bee resting on the carpet. The viscious pain caught me completely by surprise. For an instant I thought I’d simply stood on something sharp, but then it dawned as the pain spasmed through my instep. A bee. One little bee that I had failed to carefully and oh-so-gently remove from my house. A moment of sheer panic – it hurts it hurts it hurts – what do I do now? On hand a loved one with a phone to google … should I pull it out!? Yes yes yes! And then the waiting, will I react, will it stop hurting, what is going to happen? Fortunately not a lot. A lingering achey soreness, but no real damage. Apart from to my mental health … a night spent sleeplessly, anxious about bees underfoot, anxious about the possibility of a bee lingering in my daughter’s bed, her carpet, her slippers … And now I sit afar, lunch-breaking, and hoping that the news of the bees departure is the end of the story. No re-runs please.
The other day when I was chasing bees around the Hebe, I started trying to catch them in flight. This was a bit of a mad idea as it was hard enough to get a shot when they stopped for a second on the flowers. However, I persisted, and though none of the shots are exactly what I was aiming for, they are at least quite interesting… I think I’d have to up the shutter speed a fair bit more to capture their wings better, but that means opening up the aperture as wide as can be or there’s not enough light … more experiments to come I’m sure.