Our mid-summer honey harvest went smashingly well!! Joel is really the bee whisper in this household, but I can’t be too far away. I like to watch him work, so calmly, so carefully in that buzz of life. This time I sat inside the house with babe and watched through the glass door, which was perfect cause I felt totally out of harms way, but could see the whole exciting event. I technically know very little about the bees, but they speak to me in other ways. These past couple of years I have had more than one serendipitous run in with my bees…( for better or worse)The first was the summer right before I got pregnant, I got stung right between the eyes and my whole face swelled up and I could barely see for days. I was in the midst of a big shift in my life but someone asked, if I had read The Fifth Sacred Thing by Start Hawk. I hadn’t but did have a copy on the shelf, so when I could read again, I pulled it down and of course turned right to the page where a character gets the very same sting and is taken into the world of the bees for 9 days and given some pretty profound gifts. “I am changed, Madrone thought. The bees have marked me, as surely as their scar sits on my forehead. She moved through a world that came to her now as much through instinct and smell as through sight.” As chance (or magic) would have it within a week of the sting, I meet StartHawk because my husband was teaching a class with her. Yes, I did tell her the story and she just smiled.
The next encounter was probably an exact year later when I was lounging in my garden waiting for my overdue baby to arrive and a Queen Bee landed on me. I was enthralled, was she lost, looking to start a new hive, kicked out by the others? Queens rarely string humans, so I had no fear there, letting her bumble all around me. They say that bees are the messengers of the soul, signifying rebirth and immorality…so I told her to bring me my baby!! A few days later she did.
This year seemed fine with the bees, but come February they just seemed to completely die from one day to the next. Caught up with a busying spring we didn’t even get a chance to get into the hives to investigate, until…May 8th, our son’s birthday, when we witnessed the return… A swarm found our empty hive and recolonized it. The set up shop and went at it. Now Mid July is the first time we have been in to see their handy work, and let me just tell you, Pure Ambrosia! What a blessing are the bees.!!
If you are interested in keeping your own bees- our friends and teachers Just put out a new Book about Top Bar Bee Keeping.