chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: hymenoptera

with summer comes

purple allium…the industry of hymenoptera

The mason bees, which were busy in the early spring, are sealed into their private residences for the year, but now, as the day warms, a quiet air force works the garden, squadrons with clear targets and little crossover.

Purple allium bobs on long stems under the weight of honeybees, two or three on each spiky head. The lacecap hydrangeas, in full blowsy bloom, are abuzz with furry bumblebees packing yellow saddlebags of pollen. The plum trees, which have no flowers but are fat with ripe fruit, are patrolled by wasps: yellow jackets, paper wasps, hornets and thread-waists of various description.

Hard bee bodies click against sunlit windows. In shady spots near the house I discover (and discourage) starter nests — walnut-size clusters of cells or the first tender layers of paper. As I pull weeds, I find telltale traces of ground bees: chewed soil, tidy round openings.

They do their work, I do mine, mostly not interfering with one another, tending the garden, harvesting the bounties of summer.