Monday, June 05, 2006

Buzzing Bees and Baby Spiders

Isn't it cool how a garden engages all of your senses? There are two types of hot spots in my garden right now, based on what I hear as I walk around. The first is the dead pine tree, with its powderpost beetles loudly and rhythmically feeding. The second are the "bee plants" - whole plants that are just vibrating joyously with the sound of the bees feeding at their flowers. Right now I have several of the latter in the garden: the beautyberries, with their small pinkish white flowers, which have little to recommend them to humans but obviously are irresistable to bees, and the Virginia creeper, a vine whose brownish flower clusters are even less appealing to me than the beautyberries', but which are humming with apiarian activity.

Question: Does the word "apiarian" refer to all bees or just to honeybees? These flowers are attracting bumble bees by the dozens as well as many other pollinating insects, but I'm not actually seeing many honeybees. Of course, I don't tend to see many honeybees these days anyway.

Another sign that summer is here are the baby banana spiders. They are only a fraction of the size they will be in a few weeks, but their webs are appearing everywhere and I smile when I see them...unless, of course, I've just plastered a web across my face unexpectedly! Thank goodness they're not aggressive to people.

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