Tag bees

Borer Bees III: Carpenter Bee as Native Pollinator

The Least of These
This is a deeper dive into carpenter bee ecology, supplemented by first-hand observations and my own speculations. We look at native flowering cycles in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, remember the American chestnut, and consider the resources for climate change offered by such a widely adaptable generalist pollinator as the carpenter bee. More deeply, we acknowledge the transformative power in relating with a bee-ing for its own sake.
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The Least of These, Our Insect Teachers

Butterfly on my toe
Let’s face it, most of us, most of the time, assume insects are simply too tiny and primitive to interact with in any meaningful way except to objectify as pest, mindless bug, or at best, ecological agent (e.g., pollinator, predator, or even food). After working with bees and wasps, I’m convinced there is so much more to them, and I have updates on my carpenter bee saga to share in the next few posts. But here, I want to look at age-old attitudes toward insects and their surprising lack of representation even among indigenous wisdom traditions where you would expect to find them.
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Consider the Borer Bee

Borer bees can be the bane of homeowners with wood siding and other exterior wood. Accordingly, a multi-million dollar industry has arisen around killing and deterring them. But I discovered this month there is much more at stake as I tried to get a group of borer bees to move using the method I shared in my last post, "Talking to the Bees." The stakes, I came to see, have to do with our relationship with native species. This shocking insight led me to discover the relatively smaller but well-established industry of adorable bee houses which reflect a growing realization about the importance of native pollinators.
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Talking to the Bees

Talking to the Bees, Photo by David Hablützel from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/focus-photography-of-honeybee-928968/
Quite by accident, I discovered that I can relocate the nests of bees, wasps, and hornets through mental communication alone. I'm sharing the backstory and the method for any who would like to try it. It offers an effective and miraculous way to approach so-called dangerous pests, as well as a doorway into a richer relationship with the non-human natural world.
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