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Happiness and Bees

I no longer need to phone the bee man to deliver hives to my apple orchard. During the time we had a 40 acre apple orchard in Omak, the bee man's early morning hive delivery was part of the spring activities However, I still appreciate honey bees for the work they do and the place they have in our global environment.

I don't have an actual lawn. I keep my yard natural and that allows beautiful little blue forget-me-nots to spread and bloom in profusion in the spring. Honey bees are happy to find the sweet blooms and I don't have to mow a lawn or deal with grass allergies. I also don't worry about fertilizer, so I'm not adding chemicals to the Lake Whatcom Watershed. It may look a little wild for a while, but the deer will eventually show up to eat buttercups and dandelions and gnaw the weeds down to a respectable looking "lawn" that lasts from August to June.

This spring I added a bee house to my yard. I installed it on a tree that provides some shelter and a southeast exposure, giving it a sunny spot for the warmth the bees need. It is about four feet up, following the directions for how to place a bee house.

This gave me a great opportunity to learn about bees. Apparently these kind of bee houses attract mason bees and usually an individual female, not a colony, will lay eggs here. They only live one season and this little bee house of mine may be discarded after the season so it won't harbor parasites or promote disease that could harm the bees.

This is a new role for me. A little bit of beekeeping to add to my meaningful work, a part of the equation for happiness.

We shall see what happens and I promise to report on the results.

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