Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Death of a Bumble Bee

Neither my wife nor I can remember seeing a honey bee this Spring (officially the coldest on record) or during our so-far-Summer. That means the bumble bees have a lot of pollinating to do, and they seem to be doing an OK-kind-of-job.
 Bumble bees (Order, Hymenoptera; Family Bombidae) are fascinating. Going up the steps toward the road, we must get a little too close to the nest, because one...seems like always the same one...will buzz 'round and 'round our heads telling us to stay away.
Sometimes they land on my bright yellow work jacket. I guess it looks like a huge flower and their thinking "There must be pollen somewhere in all this color."
Well, walking down to the lake today I saw a smaller-than-usual bee on one of the steps. I gave it plenty of room so as to not alarm the little thing. A little while later coming back up it was lying on its side;  It wasn't acting like a normal bee, so I stopped and took the time to talk to the little creature. I knew it was dying.
One leg was twitching...palsy like. I picked it up, held it in my hand, and brought it close to my face. Neither of us were afraid. I told her that I was sad about whatever it was that was taking her life. Summer isn't even half over, and there's plenty of big yellow summer squash blossoms that needed her.
She rolled onto her side; just one tiny foot rhythmically twitching. I told her about sin and what it had done to the whole world; everything and everybody in it. I picked  a bright green Salal leaf, put her on it,  and put the leaf in the shade.......... I just got back from where I left her. She's dead.
Her face is a creamy white and the rest of her body is black.
Why do I feel sad about a dead bee? Probably because she represents all the other suffering and dying creatures in the world...and all the sick, suffering, and dying people...names and faces I will never know this side of heaven.
And another thing; there aren't as many birds here this year. I haven't seen one Goldfinch, and only one Humming bird has visited our flowers. The birds should have stripped the Salmon berry bush by now, but there's still plenty of fruit for whoever wants it.
Something isn't right. I don't know what it is...but something isn't right. e.c.

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