My fields, while a few weeks behind on account of the late sunshine and warmth, are awash in blueberry blossoms. At this time of year, seeing bees foraging on my plants is deeply soothing. Not only does every berry need to be pollinated, but every seed in every berry needs pollination, and bumblebees are the best bee for the job of fertilizing the bell-shaped blossoms. I order a hive every year.
Imagine my alarm when, after several days with my new colony, all I saw was the odd wild bee. My hive was a dud. I called the company and found out that the self-contained box of bees must have gotten damaged in transit.
“The queen will lay new eggs and the hive will be operational again in a couple of weeks,” I was informed
“I have bloom now,” I said urgently.
“Hmmm, yes,” he responded. “We can send you a new hive on Monday when we ship. It will arrive next Wednesday, or we can credit your account.”
“I don’t want a credit, I want bees and I need them now. Wednesday is too late,” I replied back, the distress evident in my voice. It had taken days to get the right person to call me back and timing is everything. If a fruit set doesn’t get pollinated during bloom, it will bear no fruit. Hence my distress.
“Hmmm, yes. Ok. Let me get back to you”. He knew what was at stake.
My head was swimming. The thought of a consecutive crop loss was inconceivable.
A couple of hours later I received word that a new hive was being shipped immediately and I would receive it the next day. Kudos to the bee guy.
When I saw the Purolator truck roll up my driveway, I was weak with relief. Turns out I wasn’t the only one relieved. As I unloaded my precious hive, the driver, looking pale and shaken, said, “I’m damn glad to get that cargo off my truck.” He shuddered. I just smiled and cradled the buzzing box before rushing it out to the field to set it up.
My fields are now alive with the beautiful buzzing of busy bees. Happy days are here again.