Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Something I keep forgetting to rant about is the missing honeybees!! Is anyone else as freaked out as I am that the bees seem to be taking residence with the aliens? Well, maybe not, but they may as well be, they are disappearing without a trace. All over the world!! Especially in North America. Does anyone know if anyone has studied the physical proximity of the affected hives to genetically modified crops? (I know, I know, one of my pet paranoias is this whole G.M. food thing.)

If honey bees keep disappearing, food prices will be out of reach for many people, not just the poorest, but the middle class as well. If the honey bees go, we will have no almonds or honey and there will be a lot of other foods that will become scarcer, as the bees disappear.

On a good bee note, the giant thistle that has taken over the flower bed in front of my house has grown so tall that I can see its deadly spikes and purple prickly flowers through the bay window. Almost every day, I see bees feeding on the thistle nectar, as happy as can bee. I can’t bear to get rid of the thing because it brings such bee joy. There is even a goldfinch that zooms in on the purple puffy flowers now and then.

I truly believe the adage that a plant is only a weed if it grows somewhere that we (humans) don’t want it to grow.

That is why I haven’t been able to bring myself to yank the volunteer tomato plants that have grown smack in the middle of the walkways that we worked so hard to weed-proof last year. Many of those tomato-weeds have born delicious, prolific fruit. Some of them are mere saplings in the shadow of their giant siblings.

Remember the peach tomatoes I raved about last year? Volunteers. The romas that I spent the other afternoon making into tomato puree? Volunteers. (Seven quarts full so far, when added to the ones I got from Dolores and Walt.) Yellow Pear tomatoes-Deb’s favorites? Volunteers. Big cherry-like ones I can’t name? Volunteers. Heart-shaped ones? Volunteers. Brandywines-red and yellow? I planted those. They are big and beautiful and still green! Yum. I can’t wait! Not volunteers.

Did I mention that the slugs wiped out an entire 12 foot by 4 foot bed of peppers? Twice?

Why is it that slugs can take over the world but honeybees have decided to go live with the aliens?

By the way, is it legal to keep honeybee hives in the city of Flint? How about chickens? Do chickens eat honeybees? (Yes, these are real questions. Don’t laugh. Let me know if you know the answers.)

(Note: I wrote this last week, I juist didn't post it until today.)

Update since writing this: I went out this morning to pick more tomatoes. I found lots of red ones. The problem is that the slugs, with the cooler weather, have somehow totally taken over that corner of the world!! Only a fraction of the red tomatoes were salvagable, the rest had been ravaged by little invisible slug teeth.