The slight sweet scent of multiple wildflowers lingers on the warm breeze as I meander along the edge of my forest. I live in an area known to be populated by rattlesnakes so I tread lightly and listen for the tell tale buzz that would let me know I’m not alone. I have lived in the area since the early 90s and only spotted a handful of rattlesnakes but they are definitely around. I don’t fear them but it’s wise to treat the one you didn’t see with respect. Eventually I heard a buzz but it wasn’t a snake. It was a busy little bumblebee lazily floating from flower to flower collecting pollen and nectar for her bread. She loves the Jewelweed and crawls right up into the flower as deep as she can often disappearing completely.
It took me a long time to get comfortable with any kind of bee after a bad experience with the European Bald Face Hornet as a young child. There was an empty wash tub upside down near the barn and I jumped on it. It was rusted out my foot went through the bottom and right into the nest. Hundreds of angry little warriors covered my foot and lower leg but fortunately couldn’t sting through the thick clothes if that era. However, the fear stuck with me up into adulthood. By facing my fear and forcing myself to get closer to them I can now even tolerate that black hornet and allow the wasps to get close.
The bumblebee is a great mom but a lousy business partner. She only makes enough honey and bee bread for her brood. No extra for the human who refused to clear out the weeds she feeds on. But that’s ok as long as she visits my garden too.
I snapped a few shots of her as she went about her chores and eventually left her to the tasks at hand.
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