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Dead Bee 

The other day I came across a carpenter bee, clinging to a marigold. The creature was completely still, even when I waved my hand over him. The temps had dropped into the upper 30's during the night, and at first I thought he was merely cold.But hours later, after the sun had warmed the garden, the bee remained, in exactly the same position.Oh, little dead bee, I thought, and suddenly a memory came bubbling up from long ago, when my oldest son was fifteen months old. Sam was a verbal baby, but he had not yet strung more than two words together. 

We were on the porch when my son reached for an insect lying on the decking. "Oh, no, Sam," I warned. "That's a dead bee."

The next day Sam pointed to a piece of black fuzz on the couch, something that had probably come off a blanket. "Hey, Mama!" he said. "He a dead bee!"

Many seasons and years have come and gone since then, and another one is turning now. I am hit by how fast they are reeling. A recent view across the front lawnDays are definitely cooler, with highs only into the 70s. The drought continues, but I read an encouraging forecast from a weather model that predicts rain after November 15, possibly as much as 6 inches between that date and December 25. I will believe it when I see it. Meanwhile, lots of bees and other little creatures are finding warm burrows in which to hibernate. I have not seen any more dead ones.

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Reader Comments (10)

Poor little creature! At least he (or she?) found a nice place to rest. I hope your rain arrives soon, Deb. We had a slight chance of rain predicted for Wednesday but I noticed that it's already moved out of the forecast, which is now showing a 60% chance for a week from Monday. My fingers are crossed for both of us!

November 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Got my fingers crossed for rain in Alabama.

November 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Your drought has continued a long time; I wish I could send you some of our rain (and I'm not often able to say that!).

November 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Carpenter Bee, RIP. The bees seem to have disappeared hereabouts. I hope they are snugly and safely hibernating.

November 14, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjason

Oh, that is such a poignant story. I agree: Sometimes, the passage of time really hits me--often in unexpected, unusual ways. I hope you'll get some gentle, plentiful rain.

November 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

I worry every time I find a dead bee - they are so valuable. I hope that rain reaches you very soon.

November 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Shoesmith

There have been many "dead" bees in my garden that suddenly woke up later when it warmed. I'm always surprised that they seem to just suddenly die on the spot. It's not from insecticide at my house anyway, but perhaps they pick it up elsewhere. Sad.

November 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

It's sad to see a dead bee. Life and death are always present in the garden.
I could share some rain with you Deb! We are soaking...

November 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTatyana

I saw a dead (or dying) bee last week on the Vitex. It had been speared by an assassin bug. Sad, but that is the cycle of life. And I was happy to see that the garden is healthy enough even this late in the season in a dry year to support such top-level insect predators.

Other than that, yep, I have seen some very still bees hanging onto flowers and the undersides of leaves, but usually I don't come back later in the day to check if the same bee is still there.

6 inches of rain between now and the end of the year? That would be lovely! But like you say, I'll believe it when I see it.

The forecasters are predicting high chances of rain Friday night. I think only 0.25 inches, but still, it would be the first measurable rain in almost a month. Per Weather Underground, we haven't had a really good rain (over 0.5 inches) in almost 3 months.

November 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Dalton

I have on occasion run across a bee that just seems to have run out of steam. They live rather short but productive lives.
The drought we experienced all summer seems to have ended with the onset of the fall season. The weather is still unusual however in that it is oddly warm. We have been out in the garden in t-shirts in November in Canada!

November 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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