I've been watching bees the past weeks, fascinated, captivated, astounded - by their diligent work, their beauty, their diversity. My almost-6 year old and I spend hours in the garden honing our patience and observation skills, sitting quietly amongst the oregano patch, or the squash plants, waiting for the bees to come. Mid day to late afternoon, when the sun is warmest, we find them to be the busiest in our garden. We've seen squash bees, mason bees, carpenter bees, honeybees, bumble bees, sweat bees, and others I'm still not sure of. Here are some photos, which are now also turned into photo cards that can be found here! Remember to allow flowering plants, berries, trees and veggies (and wild plants such as goldenrod) a place in your yard to provide forage for the pollinators! Then take some time to pause and observe...what is pollinating in your yard?
For my upcoming birthday I've asked my partner for a "date" building a top bar hive together, so we can embark on our own beekeeping/bee sanctuary project here. Here is another site that has great info on natural beekeeping methods.