Buzzed: My friends the bees

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FLOWER MADNESS If you plant the seeds, the bees will come. Photo by Mark Fernquest

A few weeks ago I heard a strange buzzing on the driveway outside my house, and it generated a numinous feeling inside me. I followed the sound to its source and beheld a swarm of bees hanging off a high tree branch like a giant dollop of honey.

The sight made me giddy.

My neighbor, who is rancherly and knows many things, was quick to obtain a wooden hive and somehow, with the aid of smoke magic, to corral the bees into it. They literally fell off the branch into their new home, as docile as 10,000 mini-Bambis in a UFO beam. Now we have a beehive on the corner of our property. It sits quietly and majestically, and yellow honey bees buzz in and out of it all day long, working their terrestrial magic. They are adorable.

As luck would have it, this is the year I planted a flower garden. As soon as the beehive arrived, I noticed an uptick in the number of bees among the flowers. The count went from two to six on any given morning. Not only that, the new bees looked extra healthy; from a distance they gleamed like my kitty cat’s naughty, golden eyes.

We here at Apple Dog Farm pride ourselves on being quasi-able to get ourselves up to full-farm self-sufficiency in two years if the dung ever hits the propeller, and with Goddess tossing us a bunch of bees, it will take less than two years now. It’s these little carrots that keep a man my age going during interesting times.

I stand barefoot in the garden these afternoons, my toes warmed by sunlight, watching the bees buzz about. On certain days the honey bees become especially excited, darting in and out of flowers with extra viv and zazz. What nice, tiny lives they live.

The honey bees remind me more than a little of Twiddlebugs, if you must know. If you don’t know what Twiddlebugs are, google them now—and shame on you! For many years I secretly wanted a Twiddlebug family in my very own window box, but that, alas, can’t happen, because Twiddlebugs live in the realm of the unreal, and West County ain’t actually Sesame Street, if you know what I mean.

But it doesn’t matter, my wish is fulfilled. The bees arrived, and my kitty and I spend time in the garden with them, all of us enjoying the flowers, together, as friends. As Goddess would want it to be.

Mark Fernquest writes and edits in a glass house in a West County apple orchard. He is for sale.