bee-stung…an education in the garden

The first day of planting at the bee sanctuary was a day of bittersweet irony…and an education in planting.

After our pollination session of ideas, we agreed that the rockery area at the back of the garden was the sunniest spot and perfect for some of the installation of the in-flowing pollinator-friendly plants.




With gloves on, trowel in hand, I embarked on an initial clearing of some of the creeping bindweed to make way for some of the less invasive roots and shoots. A trio of bumble bees became increasingly inquisitive in the disturbance. But what was this invading creature doing pulling out roots and disturbing the soil of the most serene and sunny spot of the sanctuary?

The bumbling trio became increasingly inquisitive, buzzing around the new arrivals of flowers and herbs… and me. At first, I tried to maintain calm, allowing them to explore my limbs and have a little wander around and between my legs and hair. But got a little flustered when they seemed to settle and buzz in my ear.

I thought it would be good to give them a bit of space, since I was essentially invading a possible nest. Returning after a cuppa, the bees seemed calmer. The buzzing was softer and flying lower. But upon my return to the rockery, they picked up the volume and flew straight for my (rather thick) head of hair … backing away, I felt a little shoot. A sting! Oh bite not, bumble bee! What a bittersweet irony I felt, as I backed further away and tripped over a rock, bouncing onto my back. Floored by the trio, recovering my breath, slightly winded and stunned by this encounter, I felt it was time for a somewhat less invasive approach and so relocated to the lockers, with plants. To more transitory fixtures of the sanctuary which were perhaps of (currently) lesser priority for the bees!

Well, the bees seemed thankful, calming down.

And I too …

My lesson of the morning?  Drawing upon permaculture principles,

‘Observe, interact … and accept feedback’!

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