Humming Praises for the Wild Bee (Link to New York Times article.)
I was excited to see carpenter bees buzzing around my yard yesterday. It was like seeing old friends, although some of these bees hadn’t lived through the winter but were the offspring of last year’s bees. They live in holes they’ve drilled in the support beam of my deck. I’ve been assured that this won’t damage the deck. Hmmmm.
They swoop, chase and divebomb each other. Sometimes they pause, hovering back and forth, up and down, spoiling for another round with each other. Most of the sparring partners seem to be males. Figures, huh. You can tell the males by the white bulls-eye on their faces.
I was sorry I didn’t have much for them to eat yet this season. Last year, a trio of carpenter bees regularly visited my basil flowers. I’m glad something got a use out of my basil. I didn’t do much cooking with it. I did make some pesto, which is still in the freezer.
We’re busily digging up more lawn to enlarge our garden. Last year, I realized I didn’t have enough bees when my squash plants didn’t produce any fruit. I had to hand pollinate — I learned a lot about the sex life of acorn squash. This year, I’m choosing plants that bloom throughout the whole growing season to feed the bees and other pollinators. Hopefully, we might even harvest a few crops for ourselves.