Tuesday, July 8, 2008

bringing back the bee...


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.

7 comments:

Brandi said...

it's sad, isn't it?
if you're brave enough to try keeping a hive, you're welcome to try it in our yard. i know that doesn't help your garden much, though.

Mandy said...

I have a friend that uses a little paint brush to pollinate the flowers herself. That could be a good job for the kids - painting the flowers.

I thought about getting some hives when we were studying bees, but then visited a beekeeper and got scared. They sting you!

mandi said...

oh man- i'd love to be a bee keeper. i keep giving john all these articles about urban bee keeping. he thinks that is about as good an idea as being a snake keeper or a spider keeper (his own hidden fears!). thanks for the offer. i'm going to really think about if it would be realistic for me.
good advice amanda- another friend recommended the same thing. genius, all around me...

johannapule said...

if you become a bee keeper you will never hear the end of it from me...just keep that in mind hahahahah

farm mom said...

Wow! I'm so sorry to hear that! That's horrible! Being surrounded by big ag, I've noticed a large reduction in honeybees and bumble bees, but we still have a lot of the small polinatirs left.

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Oh, my goodness! I hadn't thought of that either! I had bees aplenty a month or two ago, mostly around my lavender, but I haven't seen them recently. My green beans and pumpkins aren't producing either. That's so weird. Tons of tomatoes and eggplant, but they started earlier. Maybe I should move some lavender closer to my squash...

anajz said...

i can certainly empathize with you. i have plenty of green on my cukes, but have been able to harvest 2. even my tomatoes are not forming much fruit and unfortunately, the grasshoppers think i have provided a buffet for them.
i just received the book, the backyard beekeeper and can hardly wait to sit down with it. sadly though, our small town of 700 has laws against raising "livestock" within the city limits...and bees are considered livestock. :(