Apr 27 2008
There’s a place on my lunchtime walk where bumblebees have nested for many years. In April they become quite active near a tall privet hedge. I don’t want to be stung so I have never looked for the hive. I don’t need to see it that badly!
But I still encounter the bumblebees. They hover in the airspace between their hedge and a telephone pole. In doing so, they usurp the sidewalk.
I’ve read that bumblebees don’t do the waggle dance that honeybees are famous for but these bees certainly exchange information. I always find at least one hovering at eye level over the sidewalk. Sometimes as many as three are engaged in hover-and-zoom activity.
I usually step into the street to avoid the bees but the other day I was not in the mood to give way and there were cars in the street. Since only one bumblebee was hovering over the sidewalk I approached slowly with frequent pauses, hoping I wouldn’t make her angry.
The bee didn’t get mad. She just refused to move. If I was going to win this contest I would have to literally bump into the bee as it hovered in front of me. No way.
I stepped into the street … and so I joined in the bumblebee’s dance.
(photo of bumblebee in the Wayne National Forest, Ohio from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the image to see the original)