Wednesday, May 2, 2012

There Will Be Bees

My friend who I don't know well enough, who lives in Tennessee, sent me this lovely sentiment over the internet: I hope the bees minister to you, she said. The perfect word. If only all ministers could be like bees. Or rather, I should say that I find bees minister more than ministers. The people who inspire me the most are those who go about doing what they love, making some form of beautiful thing, and do it happily without all the angst and tears that I am given to. This is why I love the bees, the singularity of their focus, the certainty of their instincts.

Anyway, yesterday everything was falling apart, I was angry and hard and adrift. Because I had no idea what else to do with my miserable self, I took my journal and my fumes out to the beehive, and I sat in the sun. I watched the girls land, carrying in their pollen and scurrying quickly out of sight. I watched them pause on the lip before taking fast flight, zooming up into the sky where I quickly lost track of them. And the bees ministered to me, yes, they did. Before I knew it my soul was soothed and everything was all right.

In some circles they speak of synchronicity as a sign that perhaps, for a moment, you are on a good path. I'll tell you this, I've seen plenty of wasps at picnics but the few times I've seen bees in the wild are so rare, I remember them clearly. A giant bumble in a lilac bush. A park bee on the clover. Now this week, the bees are finding me.

When cleaning out my grandma's apartment after her memorial service, we found this bee brooch among her jewelry. None of us had ever seen it before and didn't know it existed. It was gifted to me.

Taking a walk Tuesday afternoon, at a random time in a neighborhood that isn't mine, I suddenly heard a mighty hum and looked up to see hundreds of bees buzzing around this hive, which seems to have been exposed either by accident or by act of scummery. I felt bad for them, but they'll find a new home and it was fascinating to see the comb hanging from the tree, wild and feral like that.

 Then, on that same meandering, aimless walk, a few zigzagged blocks later I came upon this swarm. I have never seen anything like this my entire life, and then there were two in one hour. I suspect this might be the rest of the colony from the exposed hive above, though it's possible these bees were just feeling crowded and went to look for a new home. A more experienced beekeeper than me was called to come collect them. I saw yet another swarm on the drive home.

My Italian honeybees and their great Queen Carniolan toward the center there. Isn't she marvelous? There is honey in some of these cells, and a few larva, (I think that's one near the top left, tiny white worms) and down toward the bottom the orange cell holds bee bread, which is pollen that the bees have treated and packed into little loaves to be fed to babies.

A bee lands with her pollen sacks full, and I love how that bee on the left is looking right at me, well sort of. Her face is so cute but her eyes are on the sides of her head.

And then, of course, I saw Baby driving down Main Street, Longmont. Please don't notice my dirty dash. I was just so happy to know Sam and Dean are ok, that they've abandoned that Caboodle with the pony squeaky, and that Baby is back.

I don't know. All I know is that here is a clip explaining Baby, a humorous one at that.

All I know is I love you.

All I know is there will be honey. There will be stings, and there will be honey, and we will lose our way, but we will find it once again.

Thank you and goodnight.



  1. That brooch was meant for you :) I know it. I love your bees.

  2. I love that you have bees. It's about the coolest thing ever.

  3. Somehow you always say exactly what I need to hear. Why is that?

  4. Baby is a 4 door but I feel ya girl! Cracks me up that you saw that car and that's where you mind went I love you for that!!
    AFRAID of bees so I'll stear clear but I'll take some honey ;)

  5. I find your fascination with bees utterly fascinating. I am learning so much from you -- about bees, about life -- and am grateful for that and for your humor. I like to think of you with your book and your smoke sitting out by books getting ministered to -- wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

  6. there will be honey, there will be stings, but there will be honey. yes. the broach incident is so precious!

  7. "Minister," what a soft, strong, word... And what a lovely collection of bee encounters. So glad they found you. Beautiful queen, too! xo


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