I used to be wary of bees.
Seventeen years ago when I moved to the Furlongarosa I discovered that I had more garden dirt than I’d ever be able to cultivate. That didn’t stop me from trying though and, over the years, I created several vegetable gardens, some big, some small, in different locations around the yard and at one time, had our sprawling 100-year-old-farmhouse-with-additions completely surrounded with flower beds and borders. I don’t work quite that hard at it any more but through all those hours of stooping and bending over, shoveling and raking, planting, weeding, mulching, watering, and harvesting I became acquainted with lots of bugs, beetles, flying insects, and creepy crawlies.
You either get past any oogliness you feel or you quit gardening. That’s how I lost my wariness and became accustomed to bees buzzing past me, whizzing around my head, and landing nearby to observe what I was doing. I once passed an afternoon planting irises and lilies while a continual line of yellow jackets flew back and forth on their daylight errands, popping in and out of their nearby nest. I ignored them and they ignored me.
The Cicada Wasp is a large insect that looks like a monster hornet. They are common this time of year in my vegetable garden, building their nests in the light sandy soil and flying back and forth to make their deposits of dead cicadas. I always tell them I’m not there to bother them, that my garden happens to be near their nests and we can occupy the space together. I have had one or two to stop their continual whizzing around and light somewhere near where I’m working to observe me for a while. Their friendly presence makes gardening that much more enjoyable.
Here is a link to more information about the gentle Cicada Wasps.