A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A few seconds with a humble bumblebee

Written May 3rd, 2022 by Hasso Hering

See if you can spot the bumblebee among all the rhododendron blooms.

Somewhere I had read that like other pollinators, bumblebees were in decline. So I was glad to see one working these rhododendron bushes on Monday afternoon.

It was raining a little, but the bee didn’t seem to care. Or maybe it did and that’s why it was so frantically at work. Here, take a quick look:

What I know about bumblebees is practically nothing. (I remember that as kids a continent away, we liked to catch them and keep them in glass jars for a bit, with holes punched in the lids for air, before letting them go again. And if memory serves, there was no shortage of bumblebees then.)

On the internet there’s a handy piece about mid-valley bumblebees, put out by the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District. Among other things it says that most of the bumblebee species in the valley are thriving, and that was a surprise considering how few I’ve seen.

The online information isn’t dated, so it’s hard to tell whether it’s still current.

Regardless, everybody knows that all the pollinators — bees and other kinds — are crucial to orchards and fields. So if you have a garden or a yard, try to grow and keep some Oregon native plants that bumblebees need to thrive. Rhododendrons are just one. (hh)

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2 responses to “A few seconds with a humble bumblebee”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    We need to metaphorically listen to what the bees are telling us.

    “Managed” bees are good. The few human masters who control the hive and the live-in queen only do what serves the common good.

    “Wild” bees are bad. They spew lies, aren’t social, and they watch fake news. Diversity is not a strength. They are illegitimate.

    It’s all about pollinating power. “Managed” bees are very powerful. Or, at least, they think they are. “Wild” bees….not so much, except in rogue environments.

    We should listen to the bees and eradicate the wild, unmanaged bees amongst us.

    Being “managed” is more in a bee’s self-interest than self-interest itself. “Wild” bees simply refuse to acknowledge it. Off with their wings.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    Yes, I am also guilty of stopping to enjoy a bee bumbling along on my rhodies as well! Always a welcome spring sight! Thank you, Hasso. Another gentle moment!


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