For centuries the bee has symbolised CO-OPERATION, UNITY and HARD WORK. As a totem animal bee magic is one of productivity for she is constantly CREATING, transmuting pollen into honey. She remains Nature’s most efficient alchemist!
As the tradition goes, our Greek father of ancient medicine, Hippocrates, applied honey to the open wounds of his patients for he and fellow Grecians alike saw pollen and honey as LIFE-GIVING MEDICINE. The hive is the oldest and healthiest natural pharmacy. Fast forward to 2020, and you can study to be an “apitherapist”, which is a medical practitioner who uses the by-products of bees for physical healing. Results are said to be slower but longer lasting and more profound.
In ancient times the Druids celebrated the bee for it symbolised the sun, the goddess and community. Mead was made from fermented honey and used in agricultural rituals of fertility. EVERY full moon the bee was HONOURED as an integral part of the cycles of abundance and nourishment. Gratitude to the bee!
I was surprised to learn that bees are mostly a female society with the one queen as the centrepiece and her daughters (the worker bees) running the hive. The foraging bees, also female, visit over 3000 flowers a day! The males (drones) represent only 1 per cent of the hive and their only role is to mate with the queen.
What is the message are these honey-producing goddesses are trying to tell us? In our living food cycle, there are only two ways to pollinate our fruits and vegetable plants: bees or the wind. WITHOUT bees (and little wind) no fruits or vegetables would grow.
In 2007, the world faced a big scare when hundreds of thousands of bees mysteriously went missing, literally overnight. They simply did not return to their hives. No bodies were found; no bees were found. They just DISAPPEARED. The condition was later termed “Colony Collapse disorder” and the mystery has still not been fully explained. A local beekeeper from Pennsylvania lost 2200 of 3000 hives overnight. Then reports came in from ALL OVER THE WORLD of a similar unexplained disappearance of the honey bee. Since 2013, bee populations in some parts of the world have fallen by a third. In Australia, researchers and authorities say local bee populations remain resilient, but in Europe, Asia, America, North America and even New Zealand, it is a different story.
Where have the bees gone and why?
The initial concern amongst the community was whether there would be enough bees for pollination, which is a concern, but an even greater concern is that bees are an indicator of environmental quality. If the bees are dying, SOMETHING is essentially wrong with our food chain. THAT affects the health and wellbeing of ALL BEINGS, including the bees.
I constantly speak to the BALANCE of the masculine and FEMININE on the planet and as I learn more about the lifecycle of the honey bee, I understand that due to man’s INTERFERENCE through commercial beekeeping practices she has indeed become OUT OF BALANCE.
A queen bee lives for up to five years whereas worker bees and drones only live from a few weeks to a few months. She is the MOTHER of every other bee in the hive. After around eight weeks, commercial beekeepers remove the queen and break off her head. They then replace her with a younger queen, inside a box, until the other bees get used to her scent. I’m not a bee therapist but I can intuitively imagine that this would immediately cause ripples of stress and confusion, even trauma, among the hive. Yet what choice do they have but to carry on? Another commercial practice is that before the queen is sold to a beekeeper, she is put to sleep with carbon monoxide, and artificially inseminated. So, she did not choose her mate via natural selection like she would have done in nature.
Bees eat and nourish THEMSELVES with honey. Yet in commercial farming, 100 per cent of the honey will be taken from the hive and a mixture of sugar and water fed to the bees during the winter months when there is little to forage. All of the medicines and immunity giving properties come from the bees’ natural food, yet this is taken. So what now defends the honey bee against viruses and disease? It’s like taking away breast milk from an infant and replacing it with fizzy lemonade!
System control/systemic toxification
Some mention that climate change has had an adverse effect, but what needs to be looked at more closely is the use of SYSTEMIC pesticides in crop production. Systemic pesticides are chemicals that are ABSORBED by a plant when applied to seeds, soil or leaves. The chemicals then circulate through the plant’s tissues, killing the insects that feed on them. What we now have is TOXIC pollen which causes confusion, disorientation and probable disappearance of the honey bee. Bee farmers are devastated. Clearly, the bees are not happy!
We need to open our consciousness AGAIN to the fact that there are masculine aspects of divinity and feminine aspects and the two must work in balance in order for humanity to progress. (or even to survive). While commercial farming and scientific agricultural progression has supported our livelihood over the last 200 years, how much is the integrity of our food chain being compromised? What is the cost to our basic human need for healthy nourishment. Are we choosing technological advancements over what is loving and sustainable?
What can we do?
Plant flowering plants and avoid pesticides.
The best thing you can do to support bees are to plant flowering plants in your gardens. Suburbs are a great place for bees, and that’s where your own decisions in your backyard are important. If gardens are pesticide-free, then our urban bees will be safe and honey will have fewer pesticides in it, and the bees will benefit.
Bees LOVE flowers! Blues, yellows and oranges are the favourite colours of bees, so plant up.
You COULD also become a sacred beekeeper. Keeping bees is a practice in the art of holistic living and an honouring of the lifecycles that provide us with abundance of food and nourishment.
To this day, Romania, under communist rule experiences poverty. However, poverty means that pesticides are rarely used and the country has NEVER shifted to large-scale monoculture forms of agriculture. The result is that Romania remains RICH with DIVERSE organic flora, providing perfect homes for the bee. According to the last agricultural census in 2010, Romania counted 42,000 beekeepers and more than 1.3 million colonies of bees.
Grass roots backyard movements are emerging in every city and on some rooftops. Community gardens are also a good way to participate in a positive movement toward balance. Join one! It’s not too late for our bees, and perhaps it’s not too late for us either. However, the time for a commitment to a change in a more natural lifestyle is now.
The bee is more honoured than other animals, not because she labours, but because she labours for others.
Saint John Chrysostom
The closer we examine the honey bee, the more we realise that the workings of the beehive encompasses territories beyond our comprehension.
Like the honey bee, the sage should gather wisdom from many scriptures.
From the Bhagavad Gita
#savethebees – Facebook group.
www.vanishingbees.com – movie about Colony Collapse Disorder and how you can help the bees.