Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Follow-Up: bees in bonnets can be good (Follow ups on bees and SAINTS)





According to one source, when one has "a bee in their bonnet", it means that they are "being preoccupied or obsessed with an idea".

And when it comes to the "visiting bees" in my urban (New York City) terrace garden, I have been preoccupied, actually mesmerized, by the bees which have been feasting on my Hyssop plants. This is evident in the array of blog entries I have made on this blog regarding them, including ones that you may refer to by clicking here as well as here and here. Additionally I authored a post related to my "visiting bees" for nybg's (New York Botanical Gardens) tumblr that you may refer to by clicking here and then scrolling. 




Even though there are two "visiting" bees that are "captured" in the photograph directly above, the bees which have been coming to my terrace garden are now fewer in number and they appear to be much smaller.

Juan V was over this past Tuesday afternoon, and we surmised that the little bees must be the ones that are sent out when the temperatures get colder. However, no matter what size they are, the concentrated efforts of my visiting bees are highly appreciated by yours truly.

The diligence and focus of these special insects is awesome and causes me to think that their very actions of seemingly "obsessing" on my Hyssop plants may be an "explanation" for the aforementioned phrase relating "bees in bonnets" to "preoccupation." My "visiting bees" continue to just focus on what they are doing, ignoring my gardening efforts as well as those of Juan V (which is good since we don't want to be stung). The results of our efforts can be glimpsed in an aerial view that he took of my terrace garden this past Tuesday (posted below). My "visiting bees" are off camera to the left doing their routine work



One of the pumpkins which is part of the Halloween decor can be seen smiling in the upper left portion of the image, but since Halloween is now four days away (including today), it will soon retire for the year, and I am afraid that my visiting bees will soon retire for the year too as temperatures drop. Even though these bees continue to nibble on my Hyssop plants, you can see (in the photographs posted at the beginning of today's blog entry as well as those below),









that the "visiting bees" are blending in more and more with the Hyssop Plants because they have eaten a lot of the "good stuff" (purple foliage) from the Hyssop already, and, also, the purple petals are beginning to drop due to wind which is brought on by  the fall season. Additionally, the Hyssop's petals are being knocked off by the heavy rainfall that we have been experiencing in the tri-state area. Still, because my Hyssop grows in containers, it can dry out even with rainfall, so I am doing my part to continue to hand water my Hyssop plants in an effort to continue their growth as long as possible and to provide "fuel" for my "visiting bees"; besides, as many studies indicate (including a report which you can read by clicking here) most every one knows bees "influence our foods by pollinating our vegetables, nuts, flowers and fruits."

Furthermore, as the aforementioned report points out, "all over the country bees are disappearing. Out of over 2.4 million colonies, over 25% have disappeared so far, and the causes aren't known. The American Apiary Inspectors say that they are talking about bees counting in tens of billions (and) . . . the bee shortage is getting worse now . . . the United States isn't the only country with the same problem. There are plenty of other countries throughout Europe and from other parts of the world."  

Evidently one of the main suspects is  a substance known as Imidacloprid (also known as Gaucho), which is a pesticide that is used all the time in Europe and America . . . (to keep) "pests away from home lawns, golf courses, and residential fountains."  Reportedly (in France) many bees died from being exposed to Gaucho, not because they were directly killed by it as a result of coming into contact with it, but because "they became disoriented by it, and so they had trouble reaching their hives"; the aforementioned article points out that  French beekeepers called the phenomenon, "mad bee disease" — I am here today to say, how could they label this incident "mad bee disease"  when in fact, the ultimate destruction of bees in this matter (making bees disoriented) is brought on by humans, which would make it a mad human disease not a "mad bee disease" — in my humble opinion.

However, the disorientation of bees brought on by being in contact with a side effect of a man-made chemical happens with humans too. I have seen this in the lives of the residents at a "home" where I have been doing volunteer work since 2003, as I indicated in an April 2011 post titled A & P Catholics.

One of the residents whom I'll call Ms. A (not the one pictured in the aforementioned blog entry nor the one seen in a post which you may refer to by clicking here) who lives there, has a habit of going into screaming fits where she seems to be yelling at imaginary people or reliving an awful memory. It only happens from time to time, but when it does the other residents' surmise that Ms. A is having a reaction to medication. They all seem to fear that they are powerless over meds which are prescribed and they live in fear that they will have a similar fate and be disoriented like Ms. A.

While it is true that I don't live in circumstances where I am forced to take meds, I can certainly empathize with the fears of the residents. Once upon a time, in the late 1980's I had a surgical procedure at a well known New York Hospital, and I was heavily sedated. The procedure took place on a Friday and it was one that required my staying in the hospital for a few days. A friend came to visit me and I complimented her earrings to which she replied, "I'm not wearing earrings!" For some reason, we concluded I was too high from the meds which I had been given. I felt out of control but the nurses would not stop giving me meds because my doctor had ordered them. Disoriented as I was, my survival instincts took over, and using the metal IV pole with attached wheels I made my way down the hall to a pay phone, where I made a collect call to my doctor, begging him to notify the hospital to take me off the meds. The next thing I knew it was the following morning and I awoke to find a private nurse siting there — asleep and snoring with a newspaper in her lap. For a number of years since that time, my doctor joked that I had called him  — collect — from the hospital.

However, residents stuck in living centers may not have the where-with-all to fight the issue regarding meds that are making them disoriented, and bees certainly are unable to fend for themselves in matters regarding pesticides. The only thing we can do, dear reader, is to pray that society will be kind to one another and to all living creatures. If this seems like a hopeless endeavor to you, than perhaps the saint whose works we honor and commemorate today can help.  After all, this day, October the 28th, is associated with Saint Jude, patron saint of hopeless cases.

As we come to the end of October, a month which begins on a saint's day, St. Thérèse de Lisieux and has its mid-point  (October the Fifteenth) on another saint's day, Saint Teresa of Ávila, discussed in a blog entry which you may refer to by clicking, it is only "politically correct" to include Saint Jude, whose intercession has reportedly helped many, including yours truly.

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