Now if you have read my early posts, very early that is (feel welcome to go look if you have not!) you will know my normal route to work routine. This summer I have a new distraction before I even get out of the gate. And I add to my fur feathers and figments of imagination.... insects.
Bees to be exact. A garden ornament in the form of a tortoise that I filled with hair clippings hoping it might make an over wintering spot for lady birds or some other insect.
However, this spring it appears to have caught the eye of a bumble bee queen as a prospective home. The first time or two a bee appeared to come from that general direction I thought I was mistaken. The I spotted one emerging, then more and more.
I added a stone slope to make it easier for a bee waiting to get in whilst another got out. That was getting some use, I would see two or occasional three bees at a time. As the weather warmed the temperature rising and some of the sheltering plants dying back that count rose to nine as they worked to cool their home down.
The nest (apparently the correct term with bumble bees) must be getting too small as now they are working hard pulling hair out from the various openings on the tortoise shell, swirling the hair and adding bits of this and that scouting out the area around the nest. I have popped a terracotta flower pot next to some of the construction and wonder if they will choose to expand into that.
So each morning as I step out of the door, as I should be heading for the bus I just can't resist taking a look at the bees to see how they are doing. A moment, a moment more or two or three. One morning it will be just that bit too long and I will miss the bus.
The internet notes on the bumble bee tells me that come the Autumn the tortoise will be vacated and the chance of it being used in that way again is very slim. So I shall just have to make the most of it now.
Of course there is the chance that having been the home of a queen the accommodation may appeal to other clientèle in the future..should I put up a sign, Queen Bee stayed here..after all I believe in the power of signs.