I'm the first to admit for most of my life, I've had a love-hate relationship with bees. OK, maybe hate is too strong a word. A love-fear relationship is more accurate.
They're truly magical creatures, beautiful and hard working, pollinating our fruits, flowers and vegetables and providing the planet with about 1/3 of our food. Pretty impressive for such a small insect...
But there's that sting thing. And that allergy thing. Having experienced both, I've developed shall we say, a healthy respect for bees. So why would I want to attract them to my garden? Because it's important we all do our part, and because there are times when a small risk (the odds of getting stung are actually pretty small - the bees are just looking for food and nectar, not human flesh) is nothing compared to the magic that happens when we give Mother Nature a little encouragement.
By now we've all read about colony collapse disorder - scary stuff - and I've been reading lately that our harsh winter didn't help matters either. So what to do?
Plant a bee garden! Make a bee house! Welcome and bless these magical creatures. Thank them for their hard work, their honey, and the food they provide. Learn to fear them less, and love them more. Give them a home. Make a difference.
With all this in mind, I have to share a peek at my latest honeybee homage, this large sign or door crown. I'm picturing it bringing a little enchantment to someone's bee friendly garden. :)
I'm off to have a cup of tea now (sweetened with wildflower honey of course) and begin another painting...I'll be back very soon with new work, and a hint at things to come with EHAG's "Black and White Fright" challenge.
Until then, I'll leave you with a book recommendation, one of my all time favorites, and a "must-read", Sue Monk Kidd's "The Secret Life of Bees". Truly amazing - a quick read, but one that stays with you long after you've finished it.
Wishing you a *magical* and productive day!