“Your bees love you.” So why is it that I’m suited and booted to the hilt. My bright yellow, triple layered head-to-toe suit, every gap Velcro-ed or zipped shut AND clad in leather gloves and wellies when temperatures are reaching record braking temperatures this summer. I must be giving off a very good impression to bystanders, but my bees know better. The minute I press the button on the hedge trimmer they are charging out of the hives and buzzing loudly around my head trying their best to find a kink in my armour.
“Carpet.” I think. That would make a great weed mat. “Red carpet, I suppose” says the one who told me that my bees love me. “You have them spoilt.” That from my usual aider and abettor who had left me get on with it and tackle this ‘easy’ job. Sweat is dripping off me as I bundle up the thistles (of course it’s a thorny weed, why wouldn’t it?) and the bees follow me over and back with my bundles. I think half of them are simply curious, the other half mean business! They relentlessly buzz and bombard my vail. I pay no heed, or at least I pretend I’m ignoring them. Maybe they’ll get fed up and go away. They don’t. I dare not take off even a glove.
Earlier in the year I did think about putting down a sheet of plastic or something (anything) to keep down the weeds. I was thinking of nice weeds like dandelions and daisies and the ones I mention in the Loose Wire post, the ones which are soft under foot. Who wouldn’t want to have lots of weeds around for pollinators? I had ignored my inner genius and did nothing so now I’m battling with thistles the size of trees, a forest surrounding my hives. I swish and slash wielding the hedge trimmer like a sword until the path to the hives is clear. I hope you got your bellyful of thistle pollen and nectar bees, there’s nothing left on them now but seeds and I’m taking them away and they are never returning!
Wildflowers of Ireland the Spear Thistle