Bumblebees have risen from the dead. At least half a dozen bobbed and hovered by me on this afternoon’s walk beside Sand Creek.

Theirs is a sluggish resurrection, and they all seem disoriented. They wobble back and forth in the air, headed no place in particular, or sit dully on eaves and sidewalks. Not one was perched on a flower, though this premature spring offers flowers in profusion. They duck, run, and dally like forward guards off the bench for the first time in a season–so glad to be in play that they forget the rules of the game.

An Internet article about the life cycle of a bumblebee reveals a disturbing fact: The stomach of a bumblebee can hold just enough nectar to sustain flight for forty minutes. If it finds no food in that time, a bumblebee is grounded. Then it starves to death.

So this first day out of the nest is no time for blinking stupor. Bumblebees that go right to work will live another day, while those that don’t will perish with the setting sun. I suppose that if they have a theology, the Puritans among them hold an edge.