Friday, June 29, 2012

When the Clover Dries: The Bees

Most years, morning walks in June leave my feet wet and my jeans soaked.

This year, I've walked the hay fields wearing tennis shoes, and returned with dry feet. I no longer worry about wet jeans.

I don't know if we've officially entered a drought. I only know that we haven't had rain for weeks. The grass crunches. The sheep and horses leave clouds of dust when they walk. The bees are visiting.

The bees paid their first visit a week ago. A dozen or so gathered around the spare chicken waterer that I'd left sitting next to the barn's water hydrant. Had they gone mad? I was used to seeing bees on the clover in the pastures and yard, but not swarming around the water hydrant.

The number of bees increased with each hot, dry day.

Yesterday, when temperatures reached 100 degrees, they swarmed the dogs' water pan on the back porch.

These bees are used to getting their water from dew-covered blooms. I'd love to give them that. But for now, I go into the barn, retrieve a shallow feed pan, fill it with water and offer it to the bees.

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