I can definitively tell you that honey bees don’t like garlic. Around 7:00 a.m. on Monday, January 29, I spread some garlic powder around the north pond where the honey bees have been congregating to quench their thirsty little bodies. I specifically put the garlic powder out before the honey bees arrived because the smell will drive them away whereas getting the powder directly on them will kill them.
Yesterday the bee congregation at the north pond was about half what it was the day before while there was a noticeable bee congregation at the new Wildlife Corner pond. Today, I only saw three honey bees at the north pond. I caught their conversation:
Jim (first honey bee): “Wow! Where is everyone, Andrew?”
Andrew (second honey bee): “I don’t know, Jim. I just got here myself.”
Jim: “What’s that awful smell?”
Andrew: “I think it’s garlic.”
Jim: “Oh, no! Is everyone dead, then?”
Andrew: “I don’t think so. I saw Matt just a couple of hours ago over in La Mesa.”
Brian (new arrival): “Jim! Andrew! Don’t go near the water. There’s garlic on the beaches!”
Andrew: “We know! But where is everyone?”
Brian: “We’re all in back. I came to see if anyone was out here. This guy, Russel, who lives here, built a huge pond for us with all sorts of beaches. He even bought a bird bath and put some rocks in it to make it shallower for us. He’s a great guy! He rescues us if we fall in the water and can’t get out. He’s the reason Mary, Margaret, Dirk, Ken, Mark, and Cary are still with us.”
Jim: “I’m pretty tired, though. I was all the way over in Rancho San Diego today. The jacarandas, lilies of the Nile, and sea lavender all are blooming. It’s paradise, but I sure am thirsty.”
Brian: “The new pond is just around back, about a minute’s flight. Follow me! You can make it!”
I am pleased to report that I did not have to rescue a single honey bee today. Maybe I have enough shallow areas and beaches so that they don’t fall in the water, or maybe the weaker honey bees already drowned in a pool somewhere, or maybe honey bees are capable of learning what to do and what not to do….