My dad has bees. Today I went to his house, and he showed me all of the honey he had gotten from the hives. He took the lid off of a 5-gallon bucket full of honey and on top of the honey there were 3 little bees, struggling. They were covered in sticky honey and drowning. I asked him if we could help them, and he said he was sure they wouldn’t survive. Casualties of honey collection I suppose. I asked him again if we could at least get them out and kill them quickly, after all he was the one who taught me to put a suffering animal (or bug) out of its misery. He finally conceded and scooped the bees out of the bucket. He put them in an empty Chobani yogurt container and put the plastic container outside.
Because he had disrupted the hive with the earlier honey collection, there were bees flying all over outside. We put the 3 little bees in the container on a bench and left them to their fate. My dad called me out a little while later to show me what was happening. These three little bees were surrounded by all of their sisters (all of the bees are females) and they were cleaning the sticky nearly dead bees, helping them to get the honey off their bodies. We came back a short time later and there was only one little bee left in the container. She was still being tended to by her sisters. When it was time for me to leave, we checked one last time and all three of the bees had been cleaned off enough to fly away and the container was empty.
Those three little bees lived because they were surrounded by family and friends who would not give up on them, family and friends who refused to let them drown in their own stickiness and resolved to help until the last little bee could be set free.
Bee Sisters. Bee Peers. Bee Teammates.
We could all learn a thing or two from these bees.
Bee kind always.
A Blessing for Bees
Many of us are aware that bees are facing possibly the most critical period of their existence on earth. Some years ago, in one region in China, the excessive use of pesticides had totally eliminated the bees and trees were pollinated by hand. Yet more than 80% of plants – and over ¾ of cultivated plants – in the world owe their existence to bees. They need our support in many ways – political, practical, scientific, environmental and… spiritual.
I bless Your wondrous, amazing creation and our close neighbors called bees. I bless them in their resilience to all forms of aggression menacing them, especially those of chemical origin.
I bless them in the remarkable mission You did appoint for them and in their ability to fulfill their role perfectly. I bless the stupendous organization of beehives and bee colonies which still defy human understanding.
I also bless the producers of contested pesticides and the politicians defending them that they may put the survival of our species and of bees before the bottom line. I bless them in their integrity and true spirit of service.
I bless us, the public, that we may become totally alert to the issue and behave in a way that forwards healing on all levels – zoological, environmental, economic and other.
And above all, I bless us in our ability to develop a relationship of deep caring, unconditional love and authentic reverence towards our sisters the bees and all creation.