Letting the bees buzz where they may

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Thanks for all the emails and helpful information on the carpenter bee situation. We are still trying things but have had some awesome suggestions…one of my favorites was from Bob Mount.

The cigarette idea seems tempting but I don’t smoke, neither does my hubby. In fact, every time our ten year old sees a stranger smoking she reports it to me, usually with no concern or restraint in her voice.

I was wondering if we could just plant those Nicotina flowers around the house and see if the bees would stick their noses where they don’t belong.

I know it’s not the same thing, but I wouldn’t horrify my children by buying a pack of Camels (or whatever the going brand).

I did have a suggestion that prompted a purchase: Sally Sewell suggested a carpenter bee trap. We got it at the farmer’s market on 10th Street. It is hanging at the front of our porch and, although it looks rather silly, a birdhouse with soda bottles coming out the bottom, I haven’t heard the demonic chewing sound in a couple of days. I haven’t seen any bees in the bottles though. I was looking forward to watching the bee carcasses accumulate, but no such development.

We are still using the occasional fly swatter.

Seeing how it is spring, I naturally start wanting to play in the dirt. With the job I have added to my already full schedule my garden has been cancelled. I have to let go of something. I have resolved myself to just buy tomatoes, green beans, lettuces and such. My friends at Wright’s Market will make sure I get lovely local produce. It will hurt a little, but I can live without growing my own. It was a pride thing anyway, especially when Dennis Hamlet threw down the tomato growing gauntlet.

Who am I kidding, he always won. My gardening skills are admittedly not skills at all. Besides, I have seen rabbits in the clearing behind our house that are, no lie, bigger than my dog. I have spotted them twice — two of them — and they are huge! I am sure that in order to keep their competitive weight going, they have to devour entire family-sized gardens. I would have a hard time denying these enormous Beatrix Potter characters the cabbages and carrots they desire.

So, for this year I’ll just pass.

I am excited to report the appearance of dozens of little zinnia plants coming back on their own in my last year’s flower garden.

Zinnias are my favorite. They probably know that. And, although my family can’t eat zinnias, we can enjoy them on the dinner table.

Maybe I should forgive the bees after all.

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