During the last week, the bee balm flowers in front of my house bloomed.
This morning, I stood looking out of my living room window and watched a hummingbird gathering nectar from the flowers.
The bird moved so fast.
At one point, it flew to the window where I was standing and for a few seconds looked at me! In that moment, the hummingbird seemed huge. Before I knew it, it was gone, leaving me with the memory of a special experience.
I grew bee balm for the first time two years ago. That year there were almost no bees in my garden and I never saw any in the bee balm. Last year, I accidentally planted something where the bee balm would come up, so it never had a chance to grow. This year I took care to see that the plant had plenty of space.
Before long, there were more blooms than there have ever been. But where were the bees? There were lots of bumblebees in the garden and some honey bees but none of them came near the bee balm.
Then one day, I saw a single honey bee collecting nectar.
That bee stayed there for quite a while. I have never seen another one.
Earlier this week, I saw glimpses of a hummingbird’s wings, on the far side of the bee balm, three different times. Yesterday was the first time this year that I was able to see one of the birds fully.
In the evening, I discovered if I looked out the front window of my living room, I could view the plant from above.
Today, I looked out the window frequently to see if I would spot a hummingbird. And I did! It visited several different times and I was able to take pictures of it. (In the following photos, the hummingbird is near the center of the picture.)
I hope more bees and hummingbirds will visit the bee balm, but even if they don’t, I believe I will continue to feel as happy and satisfied as I do now.
Two years ago a friend gave me a bee balm plant. Last year had quite a few blooms. This year it has taken off. At this point it is 64 inches tall and is full of blooms!
Bee balm is known to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. It is also considered edible and medicinal.
While I have been delighted by the number of blooms on my plant, I have also felt distressed by how few bees there are both in the bee balm and in my garden as a whole. I’m also concerned that essentially all the bees are bumblebees. There are almost no honey bees despite the fact that I have neighbors three houses down who have honey bee hives. It has never been this bad before.
As you probably know the bees are disappearing all over the world. They are getting sick and dying. Continue reading “We Need the Bees!”