Friday, August 5, 2016

Bees in the Margins: Earthwise Farm and Gardens

About as soon as I could walk, dad used to take me out on the land looking for arrowheads. I got to have an intuitive sense of where I would find one. I never verbalized it, just went for the spots where my heart told me to go. Same thing goes for finding bees.

Earthwise has a lovely bee garden with signage and bee plants. My heart told me to keep looking--the hotspot would be elsewhere.  "Oh, if you're looking for honeybees, the hives are in that direction," a gardener tells me. I head for the hives, but only because they are in patchy scrappy weedy land and that's where the interesting native bees are going to live. This patch of goldenrod was just outside the farm itself. It was full of sand wasps and these lovely melissodes. The sand wasps were kind of hopping from flower to flower and this long-horned bee was just tiptoeing from one bunch of florets to another.

I think she needed a rest.

 Then I passed by the boggy ditch where the loosestrife, tansy, and Douglas's spirea was blooming and found this cool patch of teasel. Look at the awesome markings on the thorax of this bumblebee. There's a perfect circle.

 There were also Vosnesensky and Eastern bumblebees all over the garden and here in the liminal lands. There were also snakes and blackberry vines, which shredded my legs, even in jeans. I suffer for bees.

Isn't this amazing? Well, it is if you can't see the signs in the adjacent fields, which tell you to stay off them or you'll be blasted by a shotgun. Why? They are being developed into a residential zone. What a waste of arable land. I can't believe it. See that goldenrod patch above? There's going to be a road going right over it.

There are the hives, way out in the bluff.

Here's the lovely scruffy boggy ditch. The bees on the edges here can't even by harassed by me--way too dangerous unless I bring a wet suit next time. Hmmmmm.

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