I know that bumble bee numbers are down in the UK but we have plenty of them here in the cottage garden. In fact over the years their numbers have been increasing gradually as there are more spring flowering bulbs and shrubs for them to enjoy.
A week or so we found that a very large bee – possibly a queen – kept on coming into the cottage. So was clearly searching for a place to make a nest. I always worry when bees come into the cottage as they are not the brightest of sparks and it’s hard for them to find their way out. There is also the danger of the Min Pins snapping at a tasty, round buzzing invader.
If it’s during daylight hours we switch off all the lights and open the back door. Usually they swoop outside to the sunshine.
But this particular bee did not. She flew further into the cottage and vanished. So I opened a few windows for her and hoped that she’d eventually make her way out by herself. By the evening, all was silent on the big bee front so I closed all the windows.
That night I settled in bed with the Min Pins, a hottie and a good thriller on my Kindle. The pillows on my bed are designed for lounging in bed. An old fashioned bolster topped with two pillows and finished with a v shaped pillow. This decent stack is like a comfortable armchair. And of course there are lots of air gaps.
I must have read for about an hour or so until I began to feel sleepy. Within seconds of turning out the light there was a loud buzz beside my ear and I felt the legs of a creature crawling across my eyes. In the darkness it felt enormous and rather scary. To my horror I realised that it must be that pesky bee. I have an innate fear of hairy legged spiders taking a short cut across my face at night – a bee was an olympian step up.
Never has a bedside light been switched on so fast. With a shriek, I brushed the bee away from my face and as she started to examine the headboard of the bed, I quickly scooped up the Min Pins and duvet took them downstairs. With the stair door sealed against another bee invasion we slept on and off in a rattled heap on the sofa.
The next morning the big bee ventured downstairs again untroubled by her bedtime trauma. She made straight for a sunny window, which I unlocked for her swiftly. She ignored this maid service and examined the curtains instead.
That evening I found a dead bee on the windowsill. Was it the same one? Or perhaps she escaped and is happily nest building in our garden.
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