I was the only person in the community garden that late-March morning. I was looking for signs of spring and enjoying the peace and the mild weather. Suddenly, my attention was captured by an insistent buzzing coming from the rosemary scrambling up the old stone wall. A medium-sized bee, ovoid, furry and a rich golden brown in the low morning sunlight, moved among the slate-blue flowers. From its shape and size the insect might have been a bumblebee, but its darting, staccato movements and its pale yellow face suggested otherwise.

Tiring of the rosemary, it swung down to a large clump of ...


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