Bees of the Earth, Flowers of the Air

The double-flowered plum my father planted to give away to friends has found a home here, while he has gone to sea forever. After two years, she has a visitor! I like to think he does.

But what a visitor she is! Look at her streamlined shape. Notice her long, cylindrical body, perfect for a tiny hole her mother dug in the silt, and which she has no doubt dug by now for her own. Look at her transparent wings, just a faint line around the edge of her body. From a human perspective, bees live in the air and among flowers. European bees live in hives, like these in Olalla …

…which they guard fiercely…

… but not the bees here. They visit flowers from their homes, under the ground. They’re like roots, with wings. Instead of shoots and leaves, well, wing-leaves and leg-shoots. Flying plums! Or, like the little one coming in from the left in the bottom of the image below …

… flying lupine seeds! But, of course, this is not such a romantic argument, given that plants are deemed creatures of the soil, but really perch between two atmospheres, to tether themselves against the wind (bees just make theirs). To them, the soil is just a perch. And so, opposites (and likes) attract! Beautifully.

2 replies »

    • I’ll check into it. My bee attraction system is simple: plant stuff with flowers, and let the veggies go to seed. I doubt I’m an expert on this, but who knows, there might be something to add. Thanks! I’ll start snooping.


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