To the borage

After the main collection of the swarm, it was obvious that there were more than a few that had been missed. The next day the stragglers had reformed - there was still a fair-sized clump attached to the stump in the Forsythia. It seemed rather sad, the way this remaining few regrouped. Somehow they had managed to find one another, and had gathered at the place the original swarm had been. And we humans think we're superior.

I was a bit concerned about them, and so phoned the beekeeper again, as she had said I was welcome to do. She called back for the small gathering of bees that had been left behind, going through the whole procedure again, not wanting to leave even one of them behind.

Intrigued, and privileged

My meeting with the bee swarm, and the beekeeper, made me realise how many things there are in the world that we can learn so much more about. How many creatures have their own complex communities, their own patterns of life, their own particular behaviours. How because of ignorance, we can panic, as I did, unnecessarily.

Watching the beekeeper lady, and the way she talked to the bees, and gently encouraged them into the hive, was something I'll never forget.

When the bee swarm arrived I was panicking, but by the time it was carried from our garden in a hive I was fascinated, and, as she suggested I should be, feeling rather privileged that the swarm congregated in my garden. They did no harm, which is more than can be said of many humans I can think of. Their community was working together, and gathered together mid-flight, in part of my garden.

I was glad the beekeeper was able to rescue them from the forsythia. And I hope they all got to the borage.

Beautiful blue Borage

See also on this website: bumblebees and the leaf-cutter bee

And from a beekeeping friend in New Zealand: Bees in the Antipodes

Summer swarm: 1 | 2 | 3
Borage, summer 2002. Beloved by bees, and I'm rather fond of it too.

Above: Borage, summer 2002. Beloved by bees, and I'm rather fond of it too.

Top left: A lone, non-swarming bee.