Imagine Seattle from the perspective of a bee.
Roads don’t matter. Traffic is just noise. Lakes are vast swaths of desert, meant only to be doggedly crossed in search of what may be growing on the other side. Buildings are nothing but giant stone mountains around which (and sometimes inside of which) food sometimes grows.
To a bee, any source of pollen is attractive: the wildflowers by the side of the road, the tomato plants in your yard, the hanging baskets of flowers cheering up outdoor malls and — especially — the omnipresent jungles of feral blackberry bushes. A humble patch of dandelions pushing through a construction site is a mini-oasis, an empty lot overgrown by weeds is a forest of delights.
But Seattle is far from ideal beekeeping territory. It’s wet (bees won’t fly when it’s raining) and the winters are too long, the nectar season too short. But what Seattle does have is a vibrant urban-farming ethos, a community where people keep chickens and grow squash in their yards, taking advantage of abundant rainfall and mild temperatures. And where there’s gardening, bees have a place to thrive.
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