If Bees could speak ….

….. in a language we understand, we would live in a different world. More colourful, flowerful, more sane. We would be much helped in our evolvement if we could only attain to a little of the bees’ wisdom. If we understood the language of the bees, their many messages, nature would be to us as real a being as our nearest and dearest, more real even, and certainly more majestic. And we would engage with the Nature, learning her language and respecting her laws, with a passion.

We would look at the world around us with different eyes. Bee eyes. Perhaps we all know this deep down in our souls, subconsciously, maybe it is one of the reasons we seek close companionship with these wondrous creatures. As the malaise of our growing estrangement from Nature is ever more keenly felt, we turn to the bees. Lately I have had reason to ponder our human relationship with bees from an interesting new aspect. Together with friends and helpers a plan was hatched to turn a croquet lawn into a meadow, or two. High time, we reckoned, to free some land from the pattern imposed in Victorian times, and offer something nice to the bees. In fact, one could say that the bee-centric approach adopted by growing numbers of beekeepers today is in similar vein, in aiming to free the bees from the modalities of control enabled by the inventions of our Victorian forefathers.

Something changed ever since the flower meadows you see on these pictures, now in their glory, showed their first shoots. It was felt long before the first bloom appeared, in fact it began when the seeds were sown. A palpable air of expectancy! Not just the sower’s! It goes without saying that one’s hopes were high as soon as the seeds were carefully raked into the soil.

But the real change, the new something in the garden, the enhanced mood, as it were, that happened more subtly. Hardly noticeable at first, but growing stronger day by day. A steadily intensifying sense of anticipation around the hives. How one perceived this is hard to explain.

After a few weeks, visiting other hives, in other locations, the same “mood” emanated from them, too. Confusion! How could it be that the slow emergence of a few thousand flowers, affected them, too? Very confusing, especially as midsummer is intrinsically a time of expectation, a kind rush to fulfilment. Gardeners are only too aware of that.

I am in a habit of spending much quiet time with my bees. This is not easy, as life constantly gets in the way, and the hives are all over the place. But the bees, I fathom, appreciate our efforts, and occasionally reward one, and if you have bees yourself, you will know what I mean. They start revealing themselves to the extent we devote ourselves to them, and being bees, what they reveal is of their nature, their wisdom and high purpose. That we understand little, is another matter!

To return to the “mood of expectancy” it dawned on us over time that the bees, the Great Bee, the overarching Oneness of the bees, responds to our thoughts and feelings, and our deeds. Any action we undertake in the realm of the living world is perceived by that world. And now, even though I struggle to understand the language of the bees, I am certain that our modest activity of ploughing up a lawn (very hard work), weeding and shaping the future meadows (moderately hard work) and sowing the seeds (lovely work) was perceived by the bees, the Bee, to whom the effort was dedicated. The bees sense our intent. Several bee-loving people were involved in creating what are now two beautiful circular flower meadows, all of them, no doubt, thinking about the bees and all the other insects who would feed from these flowers …. And right from the beginning, we meanwhile concluded, the bees knew and began expecting.

As we – all of us – not just those fortunate to cohabit with these beautiful insects at close quarters, get more proficient in understanding the bees, we have hope to evolve a little. Something of the bees’ goodness will penetrate our being. How we all stand in need of that. How the earth, the whole planet stands in need of our evolvement, about that there can hardly be any doubt.

On a physical and practical level, growing flowers for bees may become a movement, as more and more people, even beekeepers, discover the joy and delight of giving something to the bees. Growing flowers for the bees is far more beneficial than attending many a beekeeping course on offer today, and many can pursue it.