Tuesday, 15 September 2009

T0 bee or not to bee?

Are these John's bees? I was convinced they were - they seemed to have just the right kind of cheeky-chappie look that I imagine bees of John's might have. And they seem to have made themselves right at home, about thirty of the little blighters, among my sedum. I was feeling quite pleased with myself that John's bees seemed to have found their way into my garden. But, having spoken to John this morning, I'm now not at all sure they're not hover flies. Which is slightly disappointing.

"You have to look at their eyes," John says. "And their bottoms might be a bit more pointed. And their wings might not be quite so tucked in".

I'm not sure I'm up to bee identification. So what do you think, John? Are they the bees knees?

This little episode put me in mind of a wonderfully evocative poem by New Zealand poet, Amanda Eason.

The Beekeeper's Granddaughter

I thought my grandfather's bees flew everywhere
and I could prove it. Twenty miles away in Manurewa

I'd cup a bee in my hands - amaze the kids next door.
Wings whirred against my palms, I heard them

but they didn't sting because they knew me -
because they were my grandfather's bees.

Amanda Eason, 1992


  1. Well, they look just like the bees on my Sedum, if that's any help.
    What a beautiful poem.

  2. I shall keep a beeeeeedy eye out for any at this end of the village! can't he tag them or something?

  3. What a great poem! Ma bought me some New Zealand honey which is supposed to do all kinds of wonderful things for you (Now! With Added Publishing Deal Potential!). But have you looked into your bees' eyes? Or admired their tucked in tails? And there was me thinking a bee was a bee.