i just returned from our local garden shop and had an interesting talk with the owner. i was bemoaning my lack of productive vegetables since i moved into our house 2 years ago. i had built up the nitrogen enough to be getting beautifully lush greenery, but no fruit. she asked about my squash plants, if they had flowers, and i told her how that wasn't the problem. i have flowers coming out my ears. and then she dropped the bomb. i don't have a phosphorus problem (like i had presumed), i have a bee problem. a bee problem! and she's right. i never see bees around our house. oh man, now my wheels are turning. we live directly accross the street from a beautiful ball field that is lush and green. and around the corner is the most popular park in town that is bursting with flowers, but no bees. i've been noticing lately that they are constantly replacing dying flowers with new ones to keep up the appearance. my neighbor across the street fervently sprays his fruit trees, and the house across from him has the greenest lawn i've seen (even during our current drought). wow! what a battle i have here. i have to bring back the bees. is this possible? can i ignore what is happening around me, plant more native flowers, put out some hummingbird feeders and pray it all works? or do i fight the system?
today we are digging up part of our front yard to create a new vegetable bed- namely, a pumpkin patch. will all of this effort be in vain? i know it will be if there are no bees. no bees! i'm still reeling from this. so i have a new mission. a mission to bring back the bee.