Friday, September 21, 2012

Purple asters and honey bee

After the last few years, anytime I see a honeybee I feel a little progress has been made moving back from the brink. Colony collapse disorder has decimated their ranks. Last evening I saw not one but two different honeybees flitting through the purple asters. It’s possible that both bees are from the neighboring orchard, just a mile away through the woods. It’s just as possible, perhaps even more likely, that these are wild or at least feral bees with a hive of their own not far away.
Some of the more recent research on bees suggests that the colony collapse disorder didn’t affect wild bees as much as it has the domestic ones used by beekeepers. Since the disorder is related to or caused by pesticide levels and other toxins, it makes sense that wild bees would be less affected. Wild bees are much harder to study, and the research on them is limited, even to the point of not always knowing ranges and the species within a range.

In any event, this honey bee and its partner over on the next batch of asters seemed happy enough and didn’t mind that I got close to them to take photos. I didn’t even see the bees at first, deep as they were in the small blooms.

Purple asters are also called fall asters around here, and fall arrived on Roundtop Mtn. a week or so ago, despite the calendar not catching up to the “boots on the ground” reality until Saturday. It’s time to put away the last of the short-sleeved shirts and bring out the long sleeves. The cats, who abandoned my bed during summer, are back and cuddled tight against me at night. It must be like sleeping in a straight jacket as I have no room to turn at all. Who knew a couple of 8 lb cats could be so impossible to move?

Evening and early morning now requires a sweatshirt. The golden delicious apples will soon be ready; perhaps the first will be available this weekend. The leaves haven’t started turning yet, but with these cool evenings that can’t be far away. This weekend will be time to bring in the plants that summered outside and add another bird feeder to the deck. Fall is here.


John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Similar story with the honey bees over here. But since beekeepers have been worried about their hives I seem to have noticed more wild colonies - maybe I'm just being more observant as I walk a little slower than I used to!

Scott said...

The cats have joined Kali and me in bed, too--and we only have a full-size bed, so I know whereof you speak!

Carolyn H said...

John: I confess I didn't pay much attention to bees before I started hearing about colony collapse disorder, but I did think there was a year or so where few of them were in evidence. I do think there's more this year, though I am paying more attention than I used to.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: Why is it that cats have to press up right against a person when they sleep. Dogs usually claim a corner of the bed and that's the end of it. Cats make me feel as though they are pushing me out of bed!