This is a question on which to seek consensus would be a fruitless endeavour, as beekeeping is something practised by humans. Yet we are pleased that one of the bees comprising our Natural Beekeeping Trust hive, Gareth John, has now put it in a nutshell on our website.
Of course, there is so much more one could say, but sometimes it is good to be brief. After all, attention spans of humans are getting shorter.
What comes across, we hope, is that we strive to be guided by the wisdom of the bien, insofar we are capable, with our limited human intellect, to perceive a little of that wisdom. Goethean observation is helpful here, as deep immersion into the form of the animal referred to as the bien, for example, is bound to trigger a multitude of reflections about how we might accommodate that animal in a worthy way. When we look at the beautiful nests bees build in the wild, and acquire a true picture of the archetypal form of the Bee, we may experience joy, delight even, at the wonderful harmony of the animals “form gesture”. Experiencing this, I suggest, is vital, and worth dwelling on. This form gesture of the Bee, the bien, is not arbitrary, it is always the same, always subject to certain and very specific laws of Nature. It cannot be otherwise.
In the light of this joy we experience we might feel impelled to consider the hives we offer our bees; it may help the bees that we become ever more conscious of the compromises we accept in our ways with the bees. Our experience as beekeepers tells us that bees are very forgiving … and their powers of self-healing extraordinarily strong. Therefore, any steps we can take towards becoming more conscious of the essence of the Bee, will help us towards finding ever more fruitful ways of living with bees and reading the images in the mirror which the bien is holding up to us.