When I checked on my bees two weeks ago, the hedge in my backyard was about three to four feet tall. Being that most of these bushes were planted last fall and thus just getting started this spring, I didn’t expect them to be doing very well. I knew any new landscaping would take time to settle in, and I was prepared to wait. What I wasn’t prepared for was this: bushes over six feet high and budding fruit on some of the trees in just two weeks.
As I sat their pondering why the bushes were doing so well (Was it the soil? The salt air?), my wife gently pointed out – “it’s your bees, Dave”. Our landscape architect, a former beekeeper, nodded in agreement. Clearly I wasn’t seeing the big picture.
Focused on the health of my bees, I had forgotten that bees are opportunists, and a close pollen/nectar source gets visited more often. And so, this line of bushes in the flight path of my hives (they’re on the right side, buried behind the bushes) gets a lot of TLC from my bees. They’re close, they’re almost all “bee friendly” plants, and I’m reaping the benefits. Or the plants are. Or the bees. Funny how an ecosystem spreads the love.
So the next time you see your neighbors, quote the children’s rhyme, and ask them “How does your garden grow?”. My guess is their bumper-crop will coincide with the arrival of your first colony. Frost said, “Good fences make good neighbors”, but I’d rather keep my neighbors happy by helping out their garden with my bees.