25 March 2011


The Golden Penda, not panda, tree from Australia is not a new introduction and has been around for maybe a decade now. When it blooms, the clusters of yellow petaled flowers with a ring of extended yellow stamens attract masses of honey bees to it.

And when honey bees are around, there is only one reason - the presence of an abundance of nectar! Usually when I see lots of bees, I will avoid the area for fear of being stung. You see, I am allergic to bee stings and thus far, I had two incidents of hospitalization and who knows what the third one would do to me?

But this time, I saw one bee and one bee only. So I went to the tree to observe what the bee was doing. And there it was, harvesting the watery nectar and probably carrying some of the pollen along with it when it visits one flower to another. So I stuck out my finger and touched the slightly sticky nectar and put it to my lips. Oh boy, it tasted sweet. Not the heavy overpowering kind of sweet taste, but a light yet discernible nice taste that was faint and delicious enough to lure the bees to go from flower to flower to collect nectar.

For a brief moment, I felt intoxicated enough to want to take a bunch of the flowers and suck all the nectar out, like a vampire that relishes human blood. Yes, fortunately that moment was brief. Otherwise, passers-by would see a mad man tearing at the flowers of a tree and trust me, I don't want to be the mad man.