I have a wonderful friend, Dana Stovern, that introduced me to the idea of Spiritual Beekeeping. I had never heard of beekeeping in a spiritual context before, but why not. So out of curiosity I wanted to learn more. I had always liked the idea of honey but each time I tried a mouthful I never really liked the taste, there was something left behind after swallowing that just didn’t appeal to me…an aftertaste. I thought with so many tries and still not liking it that I was a person who didn’t like honey. But when I heard about spiritual beekeeping it peaked my interest and I wondered if that affected the taste of the honey. If bees were supported in a spiritual way, how would that affect them, the hive, the colony, the community and the product of honey? Would that affect what is termed colony collapse? Would the bees be able to share what their needs were. I wanted to find out more.
I started taking notice of when Dana would issue a subject on beekeeping on her website, the link is noted here http://www.danastovern.com/bees/, through her Facebook posts. Dana had mentioned on her website regarding the 2012 Honey Season the following
The bees and honey seemed to pull me towards spinning the honey out during the Full Moon, which I believe made a difference in honey energy and honey taste. Secondly, I learned to listen much better to the bees in their directions of telling me which frames of honey were okay to pull and which ones to leave in the hive. Last, I learned, once again, how much I love the bees and the process of honey harvest…Dana Stovern
Dana also offers The Spirituality of BeeKeeping Video Project (which I will be doing in the very near future), Intuitive Bee Readings and Quantum Light Work With the Bees. She also shares with us The Bee Blessing.
I decided to order a pint of honey from the 2012 honey season that Dana was offering. I thought, well I want to see if I can taste a difference. So when I received the jar, with the unmistakable label, that her husband Bob designed, I couldn’t wait to try it. I opened it up with great anticipation, plunged my finger in and brought the beautiful amberness to the inside of my mouth. I had NEVER tasted honey like that, it was heavenly, with not after taste, there was a lightness of being to it. Magical is definitely what I found. The love, respect and care that Dana has for her girls (as she likes to call them) showed through in the bees essence, which translated through to the honey. It was mutual because they respected her for her approach and wanted to their needs known and she listened.
After taste testing and continuing to enjoy the honey, I decided I wanted to continue to learn more. Then shortly after that a funny, synchronistic small event happened. I was outside in the fall sunshine last year, painting an old cabinet that my landlord had given me and I was going to put on my living room wall for extra storage and display. It was a gorgeous day, there was a breeze and I bent my head down and felt a stinging sensation in the crease of my neck. As it turned out it was a hornet/wasp sting. I do not even remember when the last time I had been stung was, it was probably in the early 1980s. At first I had a short burst of fear when I realized it was a sting , because the last few times I had been stung, I had more drastic reactions that I did as a kid. But then I caught myself and re-directed my thought. I talked to my landlord Terri Lee, who is also a good friend, that does massage work, and knows allot about essential oils and she gave me two essential oils to use on the sting. Not so surprisingly, I did not have the usual reaction of large swelling, which then would turn into a hard, uncomfortable knot for two weeks and then after which dissipate.
I found the timing of the sting interesting, I was initially a little sad for the wasp/hornet that stung me. At the time I had looked up insect/animal totems for wasp/hornet. This is from Lins Domain at http://www.linsdomain.com/totems-w-z.htm:
Wasp: Dreams Fulfilled. Wasp teaches the lesson of fulfilling your role and responsibilities, revealing how to construct and nurturing your dreams. Dreams motivate us, but only through work do they come to fruition. You like to do things your own way, rather than someone telling you what to do. Wasp people are hard workers. Summer and Fall are your best seasons. Recognition for Wasp people comes with maturity and age.
I found that message very prophetic as the months passed and very appreciative to the wasp for sharing its medicine with me, supporting me on my path.
As the winter months became months of hibernation for me, I contemplated BeeKeeping. I went to the library and took out all the books they had on beekeeping and went through them, from the bee books that are targeted towards children and up. I felt like a bit o f a child because I had no real knowledge of beekeeping or bees as a group.
Then at Christmas time I was in Portland, OR at Powell’s bookstore. It’s a HUGE store that I love to visit when I am in town if I get the chance. My daughter and I were nearby and she suggested we go there, YES! There I found a book called, The Shamanic Way of the Bee by Simon Buxton, which I am beginning to read now.
In searching online for Beekeeping in my area, I found a Beekeeping Group that meets monthly and shares information on beekeeping, mentors and mentees, and gives a forum to what are considered Hobbyist Beekeepers instead of Commercial Beekeeping, which I found out is determined by the number of hives you have. This week was the first meeting I was able to attend. I found it interesting and surprising at how many backyard beekeepers there are…they are a lovely and passionate bunch of people who are sharing whatever they are learning. The subjects discussed at this particular meeting were how to determine the mites to bee ratio and swarming bees. I found it notable that one man whose father had been a beekeeper in the early 80s was surprised to learn that his son had to deal with mites with his bees. Another young man from the University of Utah was doing a study regarding the effects of pesticides on bees and was asking for assistance from the beekeepers. Everyone seemed a bit standoffish till they found out that their bees would not be involved. This meeting is held in Salt Lake City, which is about an hours drive from where I live one way. I found out they did not have any mentors at that meeting from my area. So that was information that helped propel me further searching closer to home. I now have the word out to some contacts in my area that I am looking to work with beekeepers during the summer to learn what they do, be hands on. Then if I still feel that this is what I still want to do, I will start collecting my own equipment for the spring of 2014.
I have to say the more I learn the more I feel drawn to these wonderful little creatures. To find out how sensitive they are, how smart they are and how spiritual they are, why is that a surprise? They have much to teach of our world and environment, and I have much to learn. Time will tell if I will To Bee or Not to Bee. I hope they choose me.