I think it has been 10 or more years since the last time I was stung by a bee.

I have spent many a day in the garden of flowers working right along with the bees.  The honey bees and the bumblebees, and a few other type of smaller bees that are nectar gatherers. I watch them working and buzzing around being the busy bees that they are.  I share the flowers with them and wait patiently has they gather the nectar from the flower I want to pick. I wait for them to be done with the flower I am holding as I picked it before they could get a taste of the nectar is provides.   We have had a great relationship in the garden, each of us respecting the other. I know the vital role our busy bees provide and want to show them all the respect I can.

I tried for years to “rent’ a beehive for the summer, but I wasn’t able to find a beekeeper willing to would work with me. Then we tried for two years to start our own hives in the yard. They never made it through the winter. So we have decided to embrace the local, native bee population.

This day in the garden, I was spreading mulch to help the perennials hold in moisture as the season so far has been quite dry. I had just weeded the area a few days before.  As I was moving the plants out of the way to spread the mulch, I was stung. I was so surprised I just stood there in shock for a minute. I thought a poor honey bee would be dead,, as honey bees die if they sting you.  Then I looked again. It wasn’t my friendly bee folk. It was a member of the yellow jacket family.   They have moved into a previously occupied vole hole.  They didn’t like that I just shoveled the area they were using for their new home.

Being Certified Organic, I can’t just spray them and besides they are still beneficial, even though they don’t play well with others.  They will pollinate, so I didn’t want to kill them. I did some research and learned that they liked dry locations and will often build their homes in abandoned vole holes.   It’s good to know the voles have moved on anyway.

After thinking about it, I realized they said ‘dry’ locations.  Well, I will have to change that area so it is not dry, by adding water to the area and flooding their home area, they will relocate to drier conditions.  That is my hope anyway. I am just hoping the new location is out of the garden area.