To bee or not to bee…

Hive under construction.

We recently noticed a hive of activity (pun intended) in our old mango tree. A swarm of insects was busily constructing a new home along one of the branches, and we were wondering whether or not to let them proceed.

After learning that they were honey bees and not wasps or other territorial, easily aggravated stinging insects, we decided to leave them alone. A few people advised us otherwise, but these were our reasons for our decision:

Honey bees don’t attack people unless their territory is under attack. This hive is up in a tree, and we never go climbing around in the tree, so they shouldn’t feel threatened by us.

Honey bees are great pollinators. As a gardener, I welcome all the help I can get from Nature.

Honey bees produce honey. I may never get to taste the honey from this particular hive, but then again, I just might… Who knows? :)

Honey bee approaching flowers of the curry leaf tree.

Honey bees are becoming extinct around the world, and I am pro-nature. We shouldn’t kill or remove them on the possibility that they could harm us.

Besides, this is not the first time we’ve had a bee hive around here. It is, however, the closest I’ve ever seen one, thanks to the camera zoom. On one occasion, a hive was built on the side of the house; another one was up high in our old apple mango tree. Neither of them were noticed until much later when they were already abandoned. We also haven’t had any incidents with bee stings since I was a kid, which was… quite some time ago. :| So I have hopes that the bees will once again live in quiet harmony with us.

One last reason to leave the honey bees alone: as a friend said, it’s lucky to have them around! That may be a superstitious way of looking at it, but bees are industrious and a hive can be considered a symbol of prosperity. I can live with that.

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To bee or not to bee… — 2 Comments

  1. I stumbled upon your website while looking up the examples of progress of plants that have been treated with rooting hormone. I found your website fascinating. Some gardeners out there try to tell you how you should grow your own garden, but you’re cool, just like “hey, I’m doing my thing here and thought I’d share it with you”.
    I have a fascination for orchids, but living in Montana, growing orchids during Fall and especially winter is not the easiest thing. The passion started in the spring when I went to visit greenhouses and I saw these beautiful orchids for an absurd amount of money and just a few steps from that there was a whole 50% off section of orchids. I felt like I was in the “orchid shelter” for that matter and they were just trying to get rid of them. I felt for them and everytime I went to the greenhouse (read every weekend!) i’d bring a new ” ‘chid” home with the promise that I’d make them bloom again. As hard as I knew that was, I felt like for the first time I was committed to something other than a relationship (with a person!). I had them sitting on a NW window and soon enough, fall started to approach and I realized a had a huge responsibility to not let these orchids die due to unfavorable weather conditions. After some research, I was determined to create a palludarium for them! After MUCH more research, I finally figured out how to put it all together. I am proud to say that since summer, out of 12 plants, 1 oncidium is about to blood, 2 phal are going to bloom in about 4-5 weeks and today for my surprise I found a spike growing out of another oncidium!! I have been having issues with one, the roots were dying and I had to cut them all off, the leaves look great and that’s how I got to the rooting hormone. It’s now in a plastic bag, just like your sunflower seeds…

    Anyway, long story, but just thought I’d share my story!
    Take care!

    PS.: Which region do you live in?


    • Hi Julio,

      Thanks for dropping by! It’s always great to hear from fellow gardeners, especially those who appreciate my journey of discovery approach :) I’m across the world from you, in Singapore, which is in southeast Asia. We have a very different climate from you, probably similar to what they have in Florida, minus the big tropical storms. My hat’s off to you for being able to manage orchids, especially in a 4 season climate. I won’t try growing them until I’m more confident in my gardening skills. If, however, you need advice, I suggest you visit the Green Culture Singapore forum link on the right, under my Other Gardening Sites list. There are lots of experienced people there who are willing to share info and give advice. All the best with your orchids!