Bumble Love

by Daisy

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The introduction of a new plant, Luffa aegyptiaca, to the garden has had several consequences:

  • New look for the side of the house

  • These great things

  • Bumble bees

Carpenter bees we’ve always had in great numbers, loving up the blueberries and putting holes in the joists beneath the carport roof.

But these bees, bumbles, great, furry bumbles the size of elephants hurtling around–they’re new to the garden, especially in such noticeable numbers.

I’m very glad I’m not buzz-averse, because these things are the apex of bee-dom.

They’re all you’d ever want from the family Apidae in terms of importance and iconic presence.

And, they’re absolutely in love with the luffa blossoms, hurtling themselves with vigor to and fro them from daybreak until dawn.

Until I started looking into it, I was unaware the bumblebee was a threatened species.  The Xerces Society has an interesting overview of the situation (here), including a pdf fact sheet on the subject and a plea to send in photos of sightings of three of the most endangered of the bumbles.

Every time I grow something different, especially something off-the-beaten path, like these luffas, I learn something new.  And it’s usually something I never would have suspected.

Already waiting for those late winter seed catalogs so I can start picking out something wild.

What has your garden taught you this year?



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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane October 3, 2011 at 3:31 am

My friend has Nasturtians on his 8th floor balcony and yesterday they were covered in bumble bees! He was impressed!

Emily October 3, 2011 at 5:12 am

You are reminding me that I didn’t plant the seeds from my aunt! I was worried we didn’t have enough sun, and now they’re waiting. I hope they will sprout next year (and taut we have enough sunlight)!

Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free October 3, 2011 at 5:50 am

What fascinating creatures bees are! I love your bumbles!

Fuzzy October 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

This year my garden taught me that plants can be pretty forgiving if you give them a great start. There were days I forgot to water the beds, but I come out in a rush and see they were just fine without me. Still got the best cucumbers this season. I learned not to baby everything, let the plant do what it does naturally.

Lisa Pie October 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

I have grown loofahs for the last 4 or 5 years and there is nothing like them to bring the bees to the garden! Love them. They will grow up anything, a wall, a trellis, a fence, whatever is near them.

AuntiePatricia October 3, 2011 at 11:16 am

i saw a video yesterday in which a woman talked about losing the bees that had been her friends for over ten years, after they installed a “smart meter”.

bees apparently don’t like all that wireless ‘communication’, as they too use the air waves to communicate and they can’t do what they need to do to survive and thrive in our modern environment that is inundated with electromagnetic fields. so sad.

i use ethernet with my computer rather than wifi but apparently many of my neighbors wifi — i can pick up half a dozen other channels through the air.

i measure stray electricity with my “ghost meter” – an EMF meter.

i feel the pollution when it gets strong, in my heart and head. i can only imagine how our modern technology interferes with the bees’ activities. EMF is the new pollution – invisible pollution… our modern “lead cooking pots”.

Dee October 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

A pest control person I met called carpenter bees “termites on steroids.” 😉

Tami October 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I am so horribly jealous that you can get luffa to grow like that. I can’t grow one single plant, and I’ve tried for years. I don’t think that they like the weather here in WAY upstate NY!

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