Chive Blossoms

The chives plant that my sweet friend had given me bloomed and the honey bees that belonged to my neighbor immediately took notice. I wanted to cut the blossoms with scissors so that it would put out more long blades that i could use in cashew cheese sauces and sauteed mushrooms. However, i committed myself to waiting until the blossoms had wilted and dried and the bees were no longer interested in them. I thought about my experience with different types of raw honey and how the pollen of the plants visited changed the flavor so dramatically. I realized that my neighbor was getting chive pollen from my yard contributed to this year’s honey supply. I wasn’t sure what chive pollen would make the honey taste like but i felt it would be neat to contribute to something the bees were doing in those boxes over there and i left the flowers on the plant for them. The porch would start with one or two bees in the morning and then pretty soon 30 of them would be buzzing all around the porch, the car, the door, and the dog bowl. I would have to lay a blade of tall grass in the water bowl so they could get out without drowning. Otherwise cashew tried to drink and got a face-full of drowning bees and sili actually tried to catch them as if they were something to eat. Hey, nobody said these two had survival instinct; strength and heart yes, but survival instinct….ask the one prone to eating raw acorns and poisonous mushrooms. Sometimes the bees would pick up on my perfume and chase me about the yard trying to pollinate me at which point i’d be running as fast as one could in steel toed boots yelling to the dogs, “get the bee! Get the bee babies! Get the bee!” Both of them would set their behinds down and watch as i ran about the yard, as if someone had punched their ticket, helped them to their seats, and given them each a bag of popcorn for their enjoyment during the show. I loved bees for their pollinating abilities. They have always been truly amazing. But the first and only time i got stung i ended up with a rash that spread all the way from my foot to my underwear line. I’d been afraid of what that meant for round 2 ever since. I had a very careful and respectful relationship with honey bees. I needed them and i’d like to be a part of this complex process called making honey, but i was not seeking round 2 with the stinger end of a bee any time soon. When i lived in an apatment in the city the bees made a hive in my apartment wall. I knew they were close but didn’t realize they were living in my wall. All of my plants were pollinated immediately and i got so many vegetables that year. They would land on me to rest and i could just gently brush them from my shirt to the tablecloth i was using to cover the plants for cold weather. They were pretty tame. They rarely chased me. Somehow they just viewed me as common place. I cried the day they came in and broke up that hive. They tore into the wall. They dumped all the beeswax and the raw honey into the dirt and covered it with powder. When i got home that day it looked like a massacre. There were hundreds upon hundreds of dead honey bees and smashed, chemical covered honey comb dripping with sticky, dusty, ruined nectar. They wasted the honey and they wasted the bees. It was awful. I knelt amongst the carnage and took it all in. I took some up close pictures of the dead or dying honey bees lying on the pavement that day. People i showed them to had never seen that side of honey bees before; vulnerable, fuzzy, and helpless. I put a bumper sticker on my car that read, “save the bees”. It would be important that we make an effort to do so, for the survival of future generations.

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  1. That is so sad, Can’t they just smoke them out and move them to another box and location. I think bees are cute. They don’t really bother me either, even when I am out shooting photos in the middle of a giant field of flowers during the Spring.

    1. They could have. I’ll never understand why they didn’t. There are crews here who will remove them for free because they relocate them to their own land and use them to produce honey. After the bee massacre of 2016 i never got another vegetable out of that garden. All my pollinators were gone. I hung all sorts of blue things from the patio roof trying to attract more but nothing came. The garden was eerily quiet and still. I moved away. I couldn’t bear the absence of the bees and the remnants of their honeycomb getting ground into the dirt each day but still a visible reminder of the betrayal. All they had ever done was pollinate. They lived in my wall and i was never stung once. They were a peaceful colony of honey bees.

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