“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
~ Albert Einstein
One of my favourite afternoon farm chores is filling up the cattle troughs. When I walk down to the pump house that sits beside our spring-fed dam, I go through a fenced off area that has been created as a wildlife corridor. It’s shaded in there and cool beside the little dam, and you’d think it should be quiet.
Well, it is mostly quiet. Except for this odd hum.
The hum’s not from the pump. The hum comes from the bee tree.
You first notice it as you pause to open the gate. It’s only the faintest of sounds, but it sits underneath everything like an electric buzz.
As you get closer, the hum becomes louder. It took me ages to work out where it was coming from. I stood looking over at the pump house, listening… I walked and listened. I stood still and listened. There it was. A gentle, melodic hum.
As I rested beside a big old camphor, hand resting on the tree, I began to feel the hum! I placed my ear against the nobbly bark. The whole tree was abuzz.
Upon further investigation I found a hollow at the base. It was a bee airport, busy with afternoon take-offs and landings. A wild hive, tucked away safely inside this giant tree.
There is something precious about this tree to me. I can’t quite tell you why. And I’m grateful for these bees, and the hard work they do, pollinating all the crops and trees, and keeping our world fertile and lush.
On hot days the tree smells of honey, and the ground at the base is shiny and sweet with the drip from the combs. But the hive is well protected, and outside our reach. Long may the Queen and her bees reign!
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,