Unless you have your head in the sand, you know that bees are in serious trouble. But it's one thing to read about it and another to experience it first hand.
Last year I named my side yard the Abeille Allée, or bee lane (you can read about it here), due to the incredible number of bees on the plants in that area of my garden. If you stood still, you could see motion everywhere among the flowers. The bees buzzed my head constantly when I was weeding. There was always activity.
|No bees on the bee balm|
This year, the absence of activity is startling. At first, I thought that maybe the long winter and delayed spring meant they were just hiding out until it got warmer. But as the days grew longer and hotter there was barely any bee activity at all in the allée. Their usual favorites - the nepeta, the coreopsis, and particularly the St. John's Wort - were devoid of activity.
|No bees on the Nepeta 'Walker's Low'|
In fact, it's only been in the last day or two that they've shown up to the St. John's Wort. Happily, that particular bush is now buzzing (sorry!) with activity.
Still, the St. John's Wort has already hit its peak and is starting to lose its flowers so the timing of their arrival is troublesome, considering they've been all over that bush for years as soon as it blooms. And try as I might, I can't find bees on any other plant in the allée.
|No bees here either|
I'm not sure what to do from here. This is a problem much, much larger than me. I can do my part, but when my neighbors use Round-Up regularly, am I making much of a difference by not using pesticides and trying to use organic seeds?
What's the bee situation like in your garden?