Bees and other revelations.

Salvia

Salvia

  With the Salvia now having taken over most of the garden, bees have descended upon those nodding flowers by the hundreds if not thousands. After a few days under this wonderful siege, we left them alone. The buzzing noise and hyper activity made Milo the Jack Russell nervous. Hanging the washing outside carried an increased risk of getting stung by an over- excited bee if not covered in salvia pollen as well…Some of the Salvia beads of flowers had multiple numbers of bees scrambling for a place inside the flowers. There were disagreements between them, and despite some of the older more wiser bees trying to mediate, try and keep peace, there was nothing much we as mere humans could do except pack a couple of bags, some wooden sandals with water, also bread and some mild salami to seek temporary salvation ourselves. It could well be that salvia’s potent hallucinatory substance affects bees in a hostile way. The science is still out on that one. In America there are a few states that have put Salvia on the list of forbidden plants and anyone caught with it could be charged with drug offence. Beware when travelling in the US of using mint in your soup! In any case, we could not pontificate forever about what bees might or might not be capable off. We drove somewhat in an uncertain fashion but generally following the orange sun in a east-south-westerly direction and just before dusk managed to get into a place that had a bed with soft pillows but a firm mattress. The building had seen better more jovial times but the host was buxom and justifiably friendly as is often the case with soft fronted women, especially if they have names such as Maria, Barbara, Josephine and Virginia, (but not so much if Gertrude, Kate or a Mavis). We asked for a later than usual breakfast and explained about our reason for departure from our home due to bees being temporarily frenzied by sweet Salvia and pollen. She understood and told us the story how her parents had to sell their grand mansion in Chili’s Valparaiso  and move when their garden became a rehabilitation unit not only for the politically driven mad, infirm and the marital unstable but also for Salvia addicted bees. Her mother found it easier to counsel the infirm and mad than a frenzied bee. They left for shores named Australia. photoSalvia Nr2 We were lucky to have found this place as week-ends are usually booked out in advance. They had a cancellation from a couple who were needed for a fund raising to buy a property taken over by bees as well. We were somewhat alarmed and uneasy by this notion. Our next door room was taken by a rather corpulant couple. They seemed to be in a cheerful mood and each time we met in the corridoor they laughed heartily at almost everything we spoke to them.  It was infectious and I found myself soon laughing spontaneously as well. The bed and breakfast was guarded by a couple of mastiffs who just gave us a somewhat desultory sniff between our feet to let us pass each time we came home from our walks in a nearby dense forest of tall eucalypts and she oaks.  The bees were in profusion here as well but on the whole friendly and non-intrusive. Of course we stayed away from the hives that some of the town’s folk had put there to possibly supplement meagre incomes and keep some errant male retirees busy and off the streets.  We noticed an elderly deeply wrinkled man without any protective gear shaking the honey  from the combs  in a hand driven centrifuge. All he did to calm the bees was smoke a pipe and with gentle breaths pacified the busy bees. They obviously knew him and his particular brand of pipe tobacco. We stayed for three nights and with some sadness said goodbye to our kind host and drove back home. We were pleased to be back, rejuvenated and with some jars of honey as well. The Salvia bees had gone and all was as before, peaceful and sweet.

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30 Responses to “Bees and other revelations.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    Did Milo like to be away from home for three nights?

    Like

  2. M-R Says:

    I hope Christine sees this one, Gerard ! – I doubt that either of us has heard before of bees driven mad by salvia !
    You guys take a lot of holidays, do you realize ? It’s not that I’m critical – just jealous. :/

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  3. bkpyett Says:

    We have lots of salvias, but haven’t had this problem, yet! Most interesting. Lovely photo of your salvia and eating area. Great that you managed to have a happy break from home. Was amused by the names you mentioned, glad that I’m in the soft fronted group!!

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  4. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gerard I’ve never hear of bees becoming aggressive from any sort of pollen. The bed and breakfast sounds very nice and yes, smoke is applied to the bee box with a special smoker but not usually by someone with a mere pipe in the mouth.🙂 However, It seems that some folks have a way with bees and just maybe they do recognize the “robber of the hives.”

    I found this post very interesting. I grow salvia but not the kind that is smoked. There are many varieties of salvia and all of the flowers are generally very pretty. I have one that is a Texas native that is in my butterfly patch. Several species of butters enjoy the pollen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The bees might be docile but when there are so many of them I felt emboldened to imagine them becoming angry towards any intruders. Milo seems to be particularly keen to sniff them out and I did not want him to get stung. He already put the fear into lizards whereby he bites tails off and is fascinated in a single lizard becoming two moving objects. Milo is naughty at times. Naughty boy Milo.!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. rod Says:

    Hmm, maybe I should take up salvia smoking.

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  6. roughseasinthemed Says:

    The only salvia I knew was short and red and looked spiky. Pretty though. Good to keep Milo away. One of our dogs was stung by a bee and made it his mission afterwards to chase and eat all bees.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Dogs get stung by bees and bitten by snakes. Milo backs away from snakes but compensates this by going for rabbits and ducks.
      The ducks hide in rushes but Milo knows that and will flush them out. It is his greatest triumph when that happens. He never killed a duck but many a rabbit. ( rabbits can’t fly.)

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  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    “as is often the case with soft fronted women, especially if they have names such as Maria, Barbara, Josephine and Virginia, (but not so much if Gertrude, Kate or a Mavis)” You are so hilarious Gerard. Thanks for giving me a smile to start my day. –Curt

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  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I see M-R
    has already mentioned Christine and her bee pictures. The salvia is beautiful and attracts both bees and hummingbirds here. Whe orange trees attract a horde of bees when in bloom too. Your vacation sounds lovely.

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  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I grow the 2 ft kind. No bees. Yours are much prettier.

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  10. Silver in the Barn Says:

    I grow several salvias, all bee magnets. One that I grow looks much like the one in your picture, we call it black and blue salvia. Blue for the electric blue flower, black for the very dark stem. Can’t tell if your stem is quite that black. In any event, Max couldn’t care less about the bees, but old Berkley used to chomp after them and try to catch them in his mouth….always resulting in a yelp, and then a period of pouting. What’s this about women named Barbara? LOL!

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We have friends named Barbara. When we talk about them we distinguish between them by calling one ‘summer perfume’ Barbara. She once mentioned she would pack her ‘summer perfume’ when going to hot Bali for a holiday. We weren’t aware that some perfumes were seasonal till she mentioned it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Patti Kuche Says:

    So good to read about your bees Gerard when in other parts of the world they seem to be going awol. Your time away sounds perfect!

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  12. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Well, I’m sorry you had to flee the premises, but I’m heartened that bees are thriving somewhere in the world. Here they go lavender mad, but we’ve never had a problem. I guess the lavender isn’t up against the house. You must have had some strange encounters with certain women…

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  13. gerard oosterman Says:

    Ha, ha, just a flippant remark to give colour to the piece. Some of our best friends were Gertrudes Mavis’ and Kates. Bowral has some of the most beautiful mouthwatering gardens in Australia. The climate is cool and this allows for European style gardens to thrive.
    I think one reason for all those happy bees to survive.

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  14. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I’m a little bit sad😦 we don’t have many bees here. I feel a bit of bee envy coming on…..

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist Says:

    Salvia must be to bees as catnip is to cats. Sounds like a nice break away (except maybe for Milo).

    Like

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