Monday, September 3, 2007

Lifeguard Still On Duty

Although traditionally pools close after Labor Day, our pool will stay open. It's still very warm and we are enjoying the luxury of floating around in the cool water. We are also supplying water to hoards of bees. Most are our honey bees (at least we are assuming they are ours), but we are also being visited by at least two other varieties of bees that look similar to honey bees (we are assuming they are wild honey bees), several smaller bees, a large black bee and some wasps. Our hive is situated between two ponds, albeit the little pond is dry, but maybe the water from the larger, but drought stressed pond is such that they prefer the chlorinated pool water. I suppose it could possibly be a salt issue, but I'm going to leave the chemistry to the pros.

The problem with bees drinking from the pool is not fear of them stinging us or being weirded out by the incredible noise as over 100 swarm around at peak times, but that some hit the water and can't get back out. My afternoons are spent tossing them life preservers (my fingers) and holding them as they dry off and are able to fly away to the nearby pine trees to regroup. While I have not been able to save them all, I probably handle 40-50 per day. I've only been stung once, and as usual, that was my fault.

Some bees fly off as soon as you lift them out of the pool. Some are very particular and go over every speck of their body to remove every trace of water before they take off. Now I'll be the first to admit to not enjoying a shower from a dog climbing out of a pond or bath, but a bee shower is a different story. You'd be surprised how much water they'll throw from their wings and you can actually feel the air move as they prepare for flight.

While I'm not saying everyone should be running around picking up bees, but if you do see one in a bad spot, I hope you will do what you can to help. They are having enough trouble these days and without their crop pollination, we are all in big trouble. You never know, they might reward you with a magical bee shower.


~Tonia~ said...

Love the bee finger picture.

My mom has a pool and so many bugs have lost their lives this year in it. She decided to set up a plastic baby pool with clean water in it. They have chose to go to it and many a life has been saved because of it.

Glad that the bees have you on their side.

~Molly~ said...

I save the bees that get trapped in our pool! Being highly allergic, it is not fun, but I do it anyway. Wish we could revive our pool for the last few weeks of summer. It greened/grossed up when we were gone on vacation and this whole week(and next too) is calling for rain nearly every day. The money it would take to cure it isn't worth the small amount of time we'd still be able to use it. Darn.

Love your blog btw, very pretty stuff here.



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