As I enjoy the garden’s produce made possible by pollinators, I thank my bees. A gnarled catalpa tree in the yard holds the hive, hole open to the south, where the honey bees buzz back and forth, heading to and from who knows where. It’s had bees since we moved here eleven years ago. Some winters, the hive doesn’t survive, but a new swarm has always found the tree in spring—it’s a powerful bee tree. I’ve witnessed the new swarms’ arrival several times. Once, working in a flowerbed, we heard bees filling up the pink blossom-covered crabapple. They clung to branches, pulling them down with the weight of bees climbing on bees, bees dripping. We took a break for lunch, and when we returned, the bees had moved into the bee tree on the other side of the yard. Another year, I was mowing around the part of the yard with the bee-less tree. On my first pass by the catalpa, I glanced at the hole, which I obsess over a bit when there are no bees. Nothing. On my second approach, as though my looking had conjured them, bodies of bees whizzed by me, bee after bee drawn over the hedge to the tree, a cloud condescending on the hole. Then this last spring, while reading in the garden, I heard a persistent hum, and sure enough, there they were, sucking themselves into the tree. If I stand close when the hive is swarming, they plunk gently against my head. Even now, they’re quite docile most days. I can stand on one of the lumpy roots and stick my nose in the hole—all sweet honey. I’ve only been stung twice near the tree, both within seconds, on my elbows, first one, then the other. A honey bee sting burns, but then leaves a kind of pleasant tingly numbness. Last summer, the hive healthy from a mild winter, a new colony split off from the original and swarmed. I discovered them clustered by a large hole in my house’s stone foundation. Despite my efforts to plug the hole with sealant, hundreds of bees found their way inside the basement, where they spent days flicking around a bare light bulb, dying. I’ve tried to do some quick research on wild bees, but all I find pertains to getting honey out of the hives or collecting the swarm. No interest in cutting down my tree or luring the bees away. No interest in its heart of wax and honey, only in the way it brings me bees.