So, What Will I Do?
The fruit tree bloom is over with. The dandelions are mostly done blooming. There’s a plethora of caragana, lilac, and honeysuckle bloom. And yellow sweet clover is just beginning to color the landscape. But guess what? Here’s what I’ve seen so far in the way of bees:
- 4 honeybees
- 0 mason bees
- 1 bumblebee more than 30 miles from the nearest beeyard
- 3 wasps
- a dozen flies
- a half dozen small pollinators on some spirea
That’s it! As a result, I haven’t set out any swarm traps. And my beekeeping plans are in tatters. No bees for this year. And that’s probably a good thing. After reading Randy Oliver’s Sick Bees Conclusion, it make take awhile before beekeeping is routinely possible here.
As these viruses impact both honeybees and wild pollinators, I’m going to wait until I see the wild bee population begin to recover before filling those empty bee boxes.
I haven’t seen any bees, but what I have seen are truckload after truckload of singles headed for the Dakotas. I’ve never seen bees coming through so late in the season. It’s an ominous sign knowing that all those singles were probably deadouts that have recently been filled with splits.
Are they baby colonies headed for maturity in a nutrition paradise? Will they live long and prosper, providing for those beekeeping families and our national food supply? I sure hope so!
But there’s another possibility, a dark one. Maybe those trucks are diesel propelled virus reservoirs, spreading death and destruction throughout what’s left of the natural world. And in the process bankrupting those beekeeping families and endangering our national food supply? I sure hope not!
The truth is probably somewhere in between the two.
What a mess humanity has gotten itself into! Our consumptive ways, combined with population pressures, have put our food and water sources in jeopardy.
Is there enough time and space remaining to go natural, not just with bees, but with humanity itself? I suspect that if we don’t soon learn to fit it with the rest of nature, we simply won’t fit in. Life will continue. It will fill the void that we left. And the age of homo sapiens, as we know it, will be over.