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gen Cassie by Em

In the "you learn something new every day" file...

So I was walking back from lunch today and almost stepped on a dead bumblebee lying on the brick. (You know, one of those really fat, really fuzzy big bees?) And I've been noticing a lot of them around my yard and garden lately. Always buzzing around by the grass and not the flowers, which seemed weird, because clearly we mow our lawn often enough that the grass is not flowering and yes, we have lots of flowering weeds in the grass, but those get chopped down in the mowing too.

Anyhoo. Bumblebees. Lots of 'em lately. So I looked them up and discovered that unlike regular honeybees, they tend to live in the ground or leaf piles or... anywhere but hives? And they like to use old abandoned mouse or mole holes in the ground. (And god know, we have tons of those, in addition to a virtual condo of chipmunk holes, and yes, isn't it great to live in the boondocks? ;)) So apparently that may be why I keep seeing them hovering over the grass. Huh.

(I also discovered everyone but the queen dies each year. Double huh.)

And now, even though I just interlibrary requested a bunch of fluffy YA books, I must need to go find a book on bees because I'm supremely curious now. :)


Bumblebees can be easygoing unlike many of the other flying evil bitey little things.

I live around a lot of them and have for a number of years. Carpenter bees will chew little perfectly round holes in your wood and nest there given the chance. The apartment where I live has an old shed that a couple of folks use for their cars. I noticed a number of bees coming and going in there and saw the Carpenter Bees (just a bit larger than your usual bumblebee). They usually have at least one Sentinel and I saw this fellow hovering around the shed for several weeks. As I would walk past he would turn and examine me so I would go still and watch him watch me. After a few seconds he was onto other things. I actually began to look forward to seeing him since I'd taken to talking to him and he would hover as I did.

Any Bumblebee you see that has a white spot on it's head does not have a stinger. I had no idea until someone told me that recently.
I knew about the carpenter bees but did NOT know about the white spot! Man, I have SO MUCH to learn... Why can't I get to the library NOW? *g*

My ex-husband's really farm-life grandmother showed him how to gently catch these and put a piece of thread around their neck and fly them around like little pets! Then you clip the thread off them with the ever present pair of snips (small, sharp cutting implement) that she kept in one of her many pocketed apron and let them go on their way.