Bumble bees have always been like jewels in my garden.
Luckily, I'm not allergic to any stings. In fact, two years ago I stepped on a wasps nest and was stung 12 to 15 times on my legs. Although I was in severe pain, I only experienced some shakiness for the first few hours and that was most likely due to shock.
When my daughters were little my dad would come over and show them how to pet a bumble bee. He'd look for the tall stalks of Liatris. Sure enough by late afternoon they'd be studded with drunken bees and you could gently take your finger and stroke their back.
The only time anybody has been stung by a bumble bee here is when they were walking barefoot over the clover.
Our local paper has carried a number of articles this year about the sudden collapse of bee hives. This is a huge problem for the entire world and I hope they figure out what is causing this disaster. That being said, yesterday I found a nest of bumble bees!
Our sprinkler system is all on one zone but there's a strip of pop up heads along the driveway that needs to be turned on with this little valve. The valve is in a nice neat hole in the ground with a good hard cover. Many times I keep that cover off because that hole seems to be the perfect hole for every creature in the garden. Two years I found chipmunks in there, this past winter there was a family of mice or voles in there and now, there's a ground nest of bees.
I wasn't sure if they were bees until I read about them at http://ohioline.
Off to water,