We have a beautiful pergola that my husband built the year of our wedding.
I had seen the design in an advertisement. Tall columns, with billowing curtains and canvas panels that reminded me of ship sails. So my husband built it for us so we could have our wedding in our backyard under this dreamy space.
Enter summer last year and the carpenter bees…
Now if you know anything about carpenter bees, as their name suggests, they love wood. They love it so much that as solitary pollinators, they burrow their way into wood, making a tunnel where they eventually lay their eggs.
Right, so my beautiful meaningful pergola was under attack by carpenter bees who would (in my mind, and quite literally) eventually destroy the structure.
So we kicked into defense mode looking for ways to deter them naturally. We tried essential oils, no dice, they seemed to like it even more.
We tried staking out their holes and when we were sure they weren’t in it, we would fill the holes with a hardening foam with the hope that they would move on.
No such luck, the holes would be re dug the next day, foam flakes covering the deck.
Finally, we found a tip that said if you stain or paint the wood, it would deter the bees from boring the wood.
So we waited until we were sure they weren’t there and went to town with the stain on the entire structure.
We weren’t sure at that point if their nesting season was over or if the stain had worked, because we didn’t see them for the rest of the summer.
Enter this year… the attack has resumed full force with multiple carpenter bees (likely any that were born here the year before), boring multiple holes into my beloved pergola, and all I could think of was the invasion and the need to defend our structure.
So, I admit it, we sprayed, and 3 bees went down.
We thought maybe that would be the end of it. We hoped it would be because seeing those dead bees was a huge wake up call on my heart.
That night, my husband and I talked about, and seriously questioned, what was driving our choices to defend the pergola, and the message that the bees were giving us.
It broke down like this.
WE NEED BEES, MORE THAN WE NEED A PERGOLA!!
We have always been fortunate to have a bee nest or habitat somewhere on our property in a convenient place, like behind the shed. And we figured we’d always had bees because I love to have gardens.
I grow an organic vegetable garden.
The perennial flowers I choose are bee and butterfly friendly, organically grown, native to our area.
And we always maintain a bird bath/bee bath somewhere on the property for those hot days.
We had created a bee haven, how could they not want to live and birth in our pergola?!?!
They were the ones responsible for the flowers and the vegetables we love.
Why would we defend against them just because they were boring into a structure,(that honestly has a shelf life anyway), when the fruits of our labour of love gave us the honour of being a bee nursery to the next generation of super pollinators, so we could eat and have beauty?!
It was this realization of the bees as the gift they are, rather than as an ego based nuisance, that led us to the decision to surrender the ridiculous fight, and bring us back into perspective.
The pergola will not always stand as it was built. It is meant to change and evolve over time.
In fact its evolution has served a beautiful symbol of the evolution of our marriage.
The pergola has moved from being on it’s own, to gathering the plants, bees & other insects around it.
It has become a fertile ground for new life, just as my husband and I have had children, birthed businesses, and grown in our partnership and as individuals.
This was not a surrender to the bees; this was a relentless message of the gift we are given to be witness to the growth of what we create in the world, be it a business, a relationship, a child, or a pergola.
This was accepting the honour of being a host to life and to play our part in the ever changing dance of nature.
This was never a fight against the bees, it was a fight against ourselves.
The dismantling of our ego, that while designed to separates us so we can have an individual experience, also allows us to lose touch with nature and our bigger purpose.
We are so grateful to the bees for reminding us that we need each other and our true selves.
And working together with nature? That’s a treasure beyond the value of any pergola.
What messages are attempting to get your attention that you are resisting?
Ask yourself, how might this be a gift instead of a nuisance or an inconvenience?
How might the universe be conspiring for your best and highest good?
Change your thoughts, Change your life…
For more opportunities to get new perspective on your situation, book a 20 minute phone chat with me to see how we can get you moving forward. Connect with me HERE