Sunday, 14 June 2009

Drunken Bee

A drunken bee

My dear friend Elizabeth has been taking pictures of drunken bees in New York City, and she requested examples of the same from my garden.

Funnily enough, I already had this picture on the camera. But not so strange, really, because I have dozens of roses blooming at the moment . . . and they do tend to attract bees . . . and bee behavior seems to fascinate photographers. Tangobaby managed to catch an astounding close-up of one just the other day.

My bee is just a blackish blot, so you'll have to take my word for it . . . but this bee was so rapt, so avid and utterly absorbed, that it reminded me of a newborn baby at the breast. Like me, the bees prefer the sun . . . and when it is shining, they appear in clouds of buzzing bliss, like nectar-sugar addicts.

(This rose is in the middle of my herb garden, and I had to practically lay down on the ground, mashing mounds of chives and fennel, to get this view.)

And because I can't resist alliteration, and admire a writer who thinks to use the word "bibulous," a poem for my subject:


You voluble,
Vehement fellows
That play on your
Flying and
Musical cellos,
All goldenly
Girdled you
Serenade clover,
Each artist in
Bass but a
Bibulous rover!

You passionate,
Pastoral Bandits,
Who gave you your
Roaming and
Rollicking mandates?
Come out of my
Foxglove; come
Out of my roses
You bees with the
Plushy and
Plausible noses!

Norman Rowland Gale


Lucy said...

How very luscious!

Beth said...

“You passionate,
Pastoral bandits…”

I love that!

And, of course, I love “The Drunken Bee” from “Bee Drunken.”

Margaret Gosden said...

It is a gorgeous picture - at first, I thought it must be a Peony - the petals so closely packed. A very sexy picture!

Star said...

That's a gorgeous, big, blousy rose of the old fashioned variety, that I love so much. Does it have a name and a scent? I do hope so. I have a picture of a drunken bee on my blog too, if you care to look. Here is the url

Blessings Star

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Beautiful rose and when I double-clicked on the image the bee is no longer just a "blackish blot". I love the alliteration in Mr. Gale's poem also!

ArtSparker said...

Lovely poem

tangobaby said...

This is so delightful! I love the poem.

For the record, to get that one image of my bee, I had many many bee blobs so I know how you feel. Bees don't wait for us to take their photos, do they?

Polly said...

I love this poem! "You passionate,Powdery Pastoral bandits, Who gave you your Roaming and Rollicking mandates?" I'll never look at bees the same way again...

A bee flew into my flat the other day probably seeking shade because it was very hot outside. I'm ashamed to admit I asked her to leave...

dogimo said...

Poor bee!

I love bees. Bees are our friends.

Thank you for that poem! Simply smashing.

rxBambi said...

I have to admit, I am not a fan of bees. Or wasps, hornets, etc. They don't much like me either. I do not like them dive bombing me.
However, I loved the photo (and yes, click on it for closer view) and of course the poem was marvelous. Almost made me like bees, but not quite.
Hope the herbs recovered ;)

David Cranmer said...

What a terrific poem and your entire post made me think of my late dad. His hobby for the longest time was bee keeping and as a young man I didn't appreciate the beauty of that. Now, of course, the topic and pictures like the one you posted, all fascinate me... Youth is wasted on the young.

Fantastic Forrest said...

I wonder if, in his wildest dreams, back in the mid-1700's, Thomas Fairchild ever pictured you capturing one of his hybrid blooms on film and sharing it with friends all over the world, pairing it with a lovely poem from a 17th/18th century writer.

Like Lizzy Frizzfrock, I used the miracle of double click to fill my computer screen with the gorgeous pink and green sight. Mr. Bee is very lifelike.

I wish him and his compatriots well. For several years, I've been concerned about the articles detailing the decline of bee populations in the US and Britain. Buzz on, bees, buzz on!

Barrie said...

I followed the advice of the couple of other commenters and double-clicked on the photo. Amazing! Of course, we expect no less from you! :)

Lisa said...

That is gorgeous! The close up is indeed worth the clicking. Thank you and to your mashed chives for the gift of this image. I can almost smell the rose.

willow said...

I love the notion of bees being velvety. Wonderful poem.

Bee said...

Lucy - Do you mean the rose, the bee, or the poem? Or all of it?

Beth - Pastoral bandits is so apt, don't you think? I love the cleverness and delicious wordiness of this poem.

Margaret - This rose is actually billed as peony-like. They are one of my favorites and also smell divine.

Star - I'd love to check out your bee. The rose is called The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild, and I only have scented roses in my garden!

Lizzy - That double-click thing is terribly clever! You can really see its velvety texture up close.

Artsparker - I am tempted to memorize it! What a good party trick for summer.

Tangobaby - I kept thinking that the bee would fly away, but he was too intent on his drinking.

Polly - Oh, bees belong outside . . . so I'm sure she didn't think you were being a rude hostess!

Dogimo - Bees are definitely our friends.

rxBambi - Like many necessary critters, bees are more charming in concept.

David Cranmer - I have a friend who just ordered lots of bees. I'm looking forward to learning more about bee-keeping.

FF - So agreed on worries about bee decline. I welcome their presence in my humble garden and am grateful to share my roses with them. (I love that you read about Mr. Fairchild! I did, too, because the name intrigued me.)

Barrie - I would love to take credit for the double-clicking . . . but it is just a cool mystery to me.

Lisa - I wish you could smell it; it is GORGEOUS.

Willow - Thanks. xx

Mimi Lenox said...

Looks divine. I can almost hear it buzzing about in a delicious drunken state.

Reya Mellicker said...

Drunken bees! How cool.

What I'm happy about is that I'm seeing so many more honeybees this year than in the recent past. That's a good sign!

Krysten Hartenstein said...

Hi there - just dropping by from the wild world of the internet and thought I'd say hi. Adorable blog!

Dave King said...

Lovely post: photo, prose and poem. I fully agree with you concerning the word Bibulous, but it didn't depend upon that. It had much else going for it as well.

Tessa said...

That, Bee, is positively perfect!

Tessa said...

PS. I've had a lovely meander through your blog again today, catching up with more posts that I missed because of holidays or hectic days. All a delight, as always, but one which especially drew my attention was the meme on Favourite Books you did back at the end of May. Superb brought back so many wonderful memories of beloved books. Please may I steal the idea and do a post my own list of favourites someday soon - with a link back to you?

julochka said...

the bees in our garden spend an awful lot of time locked inside little bee jars of late and one 8-year-old is lucky she hasn't been stung. she's quite quick and adept at getting the lid on. and she gives them pretty little bee environments, but it doesn't appear to make them that happy.

your rose is gorgeous. mine haven't really started yet. but soon.

Bee said...

Mimi Lenox - Today I learned that bees can taste flowers with their "feet." Did anyone know that?

Reya - a Very Good Sign. I'm always happy to see bees.

Krysten - Thank you for stopping by . . .

Dave King - Thanks!

Tessa - OF COURSE please share the book meme. I look forward to reading it.

Julochka - I'm not sure what I spend more time doing -- deadheading roses or taking pics of them! (My daughter likes to capture snails; bees, no.)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Bee, I feel as if I have been on holiday this evening catching up on your mesmerizing writing...

Devon, Dorset, haunts of Jane Austen (I would have run with you through all her houses, not scarred by Austen, I...), and the pictures of dipping by the coast and lazy summer days... Wonderful, my friend, just delightful, and I shall certainly be taking up those book recommendations on my own holidays to come - That's after I have recovered from the break I have had staying over with you - Very refreshing, and your bee poetry is tremblingly fabulous... x

linda said...

what a fabulous poem! I need to use that word somewhere soon before I forget it, which I probably already have...

great picture! ..chasing bees with great fat chunks of yellow luggage, I definitely know what you mean!

Shauna said...

Beautiful picture. Coming from Utah (The Beehive State), I've certainly been immersed in bee lore. One friend has a theory that people are often like bees...always seeking, jumping from place to place, looking for "IT".

Merisi said...

What beautiful rose you captured, bee included (and yes, I could not resist going eye to eye - well, almost - with Lady Bee)!

The poem is exquisite and new to me, thank you, I shall treasure it! :-)

B said...

Lovely photo and beautiful poem!

My Castle in Spain said...

i was drooling over this beautiful rose then caught a glimpse of your barn in may...
Absolutely delightful!

Have a merry day then and happy birthday to your daughter!

(oh..and ..alegria means hapiness in Spanish)

Bee said...

A Woman of No Importance - Thank you for this stupendous comment!

Linda - Bibulous: Given to drinking . . .

Shauna - Do you know how Utah got that name? The only problem with the bee analogy is that I think that bees (unlike humans) know EXACTLY what they want!

Merisi - Oh, thank you!

B - Thanks! :)

My Castle in Spain - I'm so glad to know what alegria means, then.