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A Landscape of Bee-ing

“When we step into the world of Apis mellifera, we are entering a multidimensional landscape of bee-ing” Michael Thiele *

A lovely thought to have in our mind as we approach our hives. When we see – with great relief – that our bees are flying, it is tempting to see just that, and conclude that all is well, the bees are alive, gathering pollen to feed their young. All is well, at that moment, for these bees, it is true.

As far as we can make out with our senses, the bees are fine, and their queen must be laying …. after months of rainy stormy weather it is wonderful beyond words to see many eager foragers returning from their ancient give-and-take from the beautiful blossoms of early spring, loaded with pollen, to disappear swiftly in the dark of the hives. And then? Are they relieved of their bounty by younger nestmates, or do they unburden themselves directly into an empty cell, close to the sacred space where the young are reared?

Are they fine? Or are they hanging on for dear life, with the young bees consuming straight away the small amounts of pollen coming in, so that their miraculous glands which enable them to “nurse” the little larvae, can mature? We know so much and yet so little about the ways our bees (our bees?) really cope. At least this is what I gather from some tentative and relatively inept immersions into their multidimensional being,

The tumultuous weeks just behind us tell a story of a planet in distress. Extreme weathers are likely to continue. The stresses on our bees are likely to continue. Man made stresses, all of them.

We can monitor our bees’ stores, and top them up if necessary, and we should be keeping a

careful eye on them in the risky month of March. We cannot substitute for pollen.fabulous pollen Imagine that! With all our stupendous technological and scientific advancement there is simply nothing we can do tosubstitute for pollen. We cannot do what the bees do, even though the unholy alliance of industrial agriculture with the chemical and GM industry would want to convince us that we can, that a future without bees is possible.

The bees show us what we are not and what we can be. One day, maybe, when our moral development catches up with that in the fields of technology, science, control over nature etc. Perhaps this partly explains their fascination, that they show us what we might be.

* Michael Thiele’s thoughtful article “The Alchemy of Bee-ing” was published in “Star & Furrow”, the journal of the the Biodynamic Agriculture Association.

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