Friday, November 11, 2016

Lessons From The Bee Hive...

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to addend a local beekeepers association meeting and it totally got me re-energized on beekeeping.  I have dabbled in backyard beekeeping for a few years now with mixed success, but a couple years ago at the urging of my most awesome badass beekeeper mentor friend I cleanup up a long abandoned hive and added a captured swarm to it.  I have tentatively and inconsistently tended the hive since then.  I was a bit lazy, very unsure of myself, and confident the bees knew what they were doing and didn't really need much from me.  Fast forward to this meeting last month, and my confidence, energy and enthusiasm is bubbling over.  My badass mentor came over the other day to go over hive inspection with me and we found a thriving, happy and very full hive and I was encouraged to grab just a couple frames out to taste MY VERY OWN HONEY!

Can I just tell you, that it was sweet, flowery, fruity and absolutely delicious... my first honey harvest.  I have found myself more than once this past week, wandering out to the back yard to just watch these incredible creatures hard at work.  Watching them fly in, legs loaded fat and heavy with pollen in preparation for a long and dark winter.  Watching them band together to protect each other and keep the hive free of predators.   Watching the dances they do to share vital information with one another.

Feeling the hum in my chest of their hard working wings.  Smelling that lovely bees wax once you get within just a few feet of their domicile.  I can also tell you that my mind floated to all sorts of metaphors, how we really do need to look out and take care of each other, that we cannot go it alone in this world no mater how skilled or prepared we think we are there is always going to be a day we need our hive to feed us, to protect us, to nurture our littles, to share ideas and information with, and really to love us.  My children have a teacher that teaches all the children in her 8th grade class the following call and response... "What's my job?  To love us.  What's Mr _______ job?  To love us.  What's Mrs. ______ job?  To love us.  What's your parents job?  To love us.  What's your job?  To love each other."  I deeply admire folks who work with children who can impart in their unique way this notion of loving and looking out for one another.  So now, I'm going to keep a closer eye on my hive (human and bee), look out for and love on others at every opportunity, start going to beekeeper meetings, because in so many ways (literally and figuratively) the bees are our future and I want to learn and prepare as much as I can so that a sweet future it will be.