Apr 27 2008
There’s a place on my lunchtime walk where bumblebees have nested for many years. In April they become quite active near a tall privet hedge. Since I don’t want to be stung I have never looked for the hive. I don’t need to see it that badly!
But I still encounter the bumblebees. They use the airspace between their hedge and a telephone pole for hovering. In doing so, they usurp the sidewalk.
I’ve read that bumblebees don’t do the waggle dance that honeybees are famous for, but there’s certainly some kind of information being exchanged among these bees. I always find at least one hovering at eye level over the sidewalk. Sometimes as many as three are engaged in hover-and-zoom activity.
I usually step into the street to avoid the bees but the other day I was not in the mood to give way and there were cars in the street. Since only one bumblebee was hovering over the sidewalk I approached slowly with frequent pauses, hoping I wouldn’t make her angry.
She didn’t get mad. She just refused to move. If I was going to win this contest I would have to literally bump into the bee as it hovered in front of me. No way.
I stepped into the street … and so I joined in the bumblebee’s dance.