It seems I like bees to forage free from the danger of menacing arachnids!
It seems I have developed a sixth sense for being in the right place at the right time to find myself rescuing bees, such that my sister even says I’m a 'Guardian Angel' for our local buzzy friends!
I believe there are many people who develop a particular sensitivity to wildlife, and perhaps certain species.
For me, I seem to sense when bees are in danger, or I notice a problem when others don’t, perhaps because ‘something made me’ turn my head a certain way, or I hear an angry buzzing despite the din of cars on a busy road.
The decision to rescue bees is usually a very simple one, but it hasn't always been that way.....
Take my experience of deliberately depriving a spider of its meal in order to rescue a bumblebee from certain ‘death by arachnid’. I had noticed a number of webs on our lavender bush, and one in particular was quite large, with a garden wolf spider awaiting its prey. Bumblebees were all over the lavender, and the spider surely knew one or two would make a mistake very soon – judging by the size of the spider, I suspected several had made mistakes already.
In theory, it’s against my principles (or so I thought) to deprive one creature of its meal in order to favour another - after all, each living being must eat. On the one hand, I appreciate spiders for the task they perform (like eating houseflies and mosquitoes) – and I happen to live in a country where there are no dangerous species, which I suppose helps!
On the other hand, spiders give me the creeps (apart from very tiny ones) and I wouldn’t want them crawling on me. Yet I never, ever kill spiders. Those wanting to share our bedroom for example, have to negotiate with my husband. Apparently, spiders are not very good negotiators – hubby always evicts them using a glass and a piece of paper.
I looked at the spider’s web, wondering whether I should do the mean, selfish thing – destroy its web, and move the spider from this important ‘bee feeding station’. ‘No’ I told myself, ‘I have no right - let nature take its course’, and so I got on with my gardening.
And then….......some time later, suddenly and purposefully, I looked over at the spider’s web, because somehow I just knew at that moment, a bumblebee was in danger! Sure enough, there was the bumblebee trapped in the web, the spider almost upon it. I didn’t think twice.
Principles? Out of the window they went! It was a natural reflex to scoop the bumblebee to safety, and never mind the spider and its meal!
Since this experience, I no longer pretend to be on the
spiders’ side. For instance, a
particular spider is very persistent at the moment, making a web on the
solitary bee house. It’s a very crafty
spider, because it covers the occupied holes, presumably to catch the newly
emerging mason bees as they leave their cells.
Then the web extends to interfere with the flight path into the vacant
holes. This particular spider is an
excellent strategist, it seems, and being a mason bee looking for a new abode
for egg laying, is a potentially perilous business……unless I happen to be
around to disrupt the plans of the eight-legged fiend, that is!
I now habitually remove spider webs for the protection of bees! Is it fair on the spiders? Perhaps not, but I just can’t help myself!
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