Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stoner Bees

I have some California poppies in my backyard, and I like to watch the bees discover them. They lounge about in the middle of the flower, rolling over and losing their balance and falling off, only to fly back on a second later. They seem to get impatient with the flowers if they haven’t opened early enough--jamming their heads and bodies into the still closed flower and forming a little orange, vibrating package of petal, sometimes with a stray leg poking out.

It’s hard not to anthropomorphize them--they look so funny as they stumble from the California poppies, to the clover, to the rosemary, and back to the poppies again, covered with pollen and flying crooked. I know that they are supposed to be busy critters, but since I can’t tell them apart, it seems like there are just a few bees who hang out on the flowers all day, getting drunk on pollen. Teenagers these days!

I always like seeing them, though. It’s like finding earthworms in your dirt--you must be doing something right. This year I planted some crimson clover, and it finally flowered and lived up to its name.

The bees haven’t hit the crimson clover vintage as much as the rosemary and California poppy vintage, but maybe they’ll ease into it. I’ll continue to host punch-drunk honeybees and wallowing bumblebees in the Backyard Flower Bar, and maybe they’ll pollinate some of my vegetables if I promise not to call their parents.

Chani West-Foyle, marketing associate

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