Yesterday I got my new package of bees and installed them in their hive-home. Today is a glorious spring day and they are very happy. They inspired this Sunday’s list. (yes, yes I know it is a judeo-christian holiday but I choose to ignore that fact).
Ten things I love about my bees:
1) I love watching them. I often take my lunch up and just sit by my hive(s) and watch them come and go. It is very soothing and I think probably lowers your blood pressure in much the same way watching a tank of fish is supposed to according to the medical research.
2) Pollination. When I discovered that I had indeed lost the last of my six hives over the winter I panicked a bit worrying about pollination for my apple trees. Fortunately I was able to get an early package of bees from Harold and Hilda Swan (two more of my beekeeping heroes).
3) Their social structure. The queen mother is the glue that holds the hive together. Her attendants pamper her but in return she gives her whole life to creating new little bees.
4) Bees are sexy and magickal, mystical even. The function they serve in the natural world as well as their mysterious hold on those of us who are beeks. If you have any doubt of this you should read “The Shamanic Way of the Bee” by Simon Buxton. Quite a hot little book.
5) The medicine they give us. Honey, pollen, royal jelly. All of these things are ancient aids to healthy living.
6) Mead. I love making apple cider mead from my honey and the cider from my apples (which they pollinated, how ‘bout that?).
7) How much they need us. Now that we have compromised their immune systems by our treatment of them we owe them tender loving care until they can recover and get on with their marvelous lives.
8) Capturing a swarm. What an adventure. I kind of hope we will have another “swarmy” summer like last year. We had such fun capturing swarms last summer.
9) All the poetry they have inspired:
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee.
A clover, anytime to him,
Other than getting the gender wrong a nice little piece of verse
10) Being at the cutting edge of organic beekeeping. We are where organic farming was 20 years ago; little respect from the “conventional” beekeepers but in our hearts we know we are right!