We are going to keep honey bees this summer, our garden and hive is nearly ready. I have planted all the favorite flowers and herbs that I could have the space to fill. Even our lawn is going to be a wild flower mini meadow. We have apple trees, plum, greengage,grape vine, pear, berry and many flowering vegetables that the bee can have a love affair with. It's so exiting to hear of so many others that are taking up the protection of this wonder filled creature, and to think without the honey bee here with us on this beautiful Earth, we may not exist, nor much of any of Mother Earth's creations.
A sacred and adored feminine princible long through the ages, the honey bee has been on the Earth for around 20 million years.
There is a legend told that the bee was to have been created from the tears of Ra, the father of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Mead or honey wine is the Ambrosia of the Gods. In Greece bees were thought to be the surviving souls of the priestesses who served the Goddess Aphrodite.
Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, called herself 'Melissa', the Queen Bee, and her priestesses were called the Melissae. See the link below for the wonderful book 'The Shamanic Way of the Bee.
The Melissae, were accompanied by priests called ' Essenes ' - meaning drones, which are the male bees of the hive.
The honey bees were Aphrodite's sacred creatures who Pythagoreans worshipped, created their endless perfect symmetry of the hexagons, and this suggested the underlying order of the Cosmos.
Demeter is also known as the 'Mother Bee' for she governs nature's cycles of life.
A Poem by Pablo Neruda.
Let the wax raise green statues,
Let the honey drip in infinite tongues,
Let the ocean be a big comb and the Earth a tunic of flowers,
let the world be a cascade, magnificent hair,
unceasing growth of Beedom.
Clay faces singing lullaby's for the bees and crab apple blossom in the garden.
Bees have been believed to have secret knowledge and are divine messengers. Celtic cultures say that bees have the secret wisdom of the soul and the 'Otherworld'. They made a drink called 'Mead' - a honey wine that was drunk to bestow the gifts of wisdom, creativity and immortality. Indeed a mythical drink!
The Melissae were said to be prophets and oracles that entered a trance by taking a secret recipe which included honey and pollen.
Here is a swarm of honey bees being introduced to their new home by a lady called Heidi. My partner went to Heidi's beautiful Kent home for a course in Natural Bee Keeping.
Is this a bee's eye view?
For to the bee the
Flower is a fountain of life
And to the flower a bee is a
Messenger of love
And to both, bee and flower
The giving and receiving is
A need and an ecstacy.
Power Animal - Honey Bee
Power Honey Bee's wisdom includes, love, cooperation, giving back to the Earth, sweetness.
This totem also says to forgive yourself and others, have compassion. Honeybee carries sweetness to those in need of love. Sit beside a field of blossoming clover-and listen to the humming mantra of love's fertility.
( The Spirit of Place )
The message of the honey bee tells us to go get your dreams, you can make your dreams a reality. You can create anything you put your mind and heart to.
Some of the favorite plants for the Honey
Spring- Old species of tulips, snowdrops,violets, crocuses, forget-me-nots, dandelion,helleborus,and trees; hawthorn, blackthorn,hazel,lime tree,oak,willow, sycamore, and all fruit trees and bushes.
Summer - buddleja, anise-hyssop,bergamont (bee balm ), melissa, catnip, red clover, heather,majoram,thyme,joe-pye weed, motherwort,milkweed,poppy,basil,borage,clove-pink,germander,horehound,lavender,mints,nasturtium,alliums,sunflowers and all daisy shaped flowers.
Coriander is useful - helps the bees rub off mites.
Sage can be a spring cleanser for bees. A feed of 5kg of honey with a tea brewed for 20 mins in 5 ltrs of water, 14 tsps sage, 4 tsps thyme, 4 tsps chamomile. warm this to around 65. c.
To help with the bee's health, it's important to have growing in the garden, anise-hyssop,catnip,purple loosestrife,majoram, motherwort and mint.
These help with honey production to feed the bees throughout the winter months. Ivy is also good to have around for pollen in late Autumn.
Well, I will let you know when we have our bees and hopefully a few photos of the wild flower mini meadow! I will be raising a glass of honey wine to the bees while sitting out in the garden, watching them collecting their gold. Here's to the Honey Bee!
The Theory and Practise of Natural Beekeeping-encompassing the Biodynamic Perspective.
Bees, lectures by Rudolf Steiner.
The Barefoot Beekeeper by P.J Chandler.
The Shamanic Way of the Bee by Simon Buxton.