This week's page of my Ecological Calendar at work tells me that, at this time of year, some bees from every hive begin to make forays out in search of food, but that many are killed by freezing to death or by flying into snowbanks, which they mistake for the sky. I had this evil image of a heroic bee flying along in search of food, communing with the great Winter sky after weeks stuck inside the hive, and then, suddenly, blam! A snowbank. And the poor bee's last thoughts, inscribed idly by its poor frozen little legs doing their final bee dance, are "WTF?"
But on a more serious note, the bees' need for food is yet another good reason to begin starting some seedlings now (at least if you live, as I do, in Zone 7) so that they'll be ready to plant outside once the danger of frost has passed. Those seedlings will flower early and provide the bees with some needed food.
I save the pots that I get when I buy seedlings, wash them out in late Summer/early Autumn, and then re-use them every year to start seedlings. I've also made pots out of newspaper, which are great, as long as the ink is vegetable-based. You can pop them, paper pot and all, into the ground and the paper just decomposes. It's a perfect way to spend Imbolc, and if you have children, you can always get them to help, mark "their" pot for them, and then do all kinds of lessons about Science, Math (measurement, esp.), Poetry, Music, Art, etc.
Tomorrow, I'll be potting marigold, woad, cucumbers, and some orange cosmos (that I got as a freebie) for guerrilla gardening. I'll also sit down with my stack of
What are you planting? How many bees did you dance with last year?
I've got packets of one-year-old woad seeds for the first three people to email me their address at hecate demetersdatter at hot mail dot come.