Honey Bee Diva is the soul, template and essence of Spirit’s imprint in the material world that creates the form of the physical honey bee. I believe in the spirit; intelligent consciousness present in all forms of matter. Can’t say I believe Honey Bee Diva. Honey Bee Diva exists believe it or not. If I lose you at the end of this paragraph, that’s fine. Listening to bees requires a connection to the Honey Bee Diva.
My first encounter with the Bee Diva occurred in the late 1990s. For two years I lived in a simple outbuilding of a room heated by a wood stove, with no kitchen or indoor bathroom. During this time of mourning, I chose to act based solely on internal impulses. I ate when I was hungry, I slept when I was sleepy, I danced, I moved, I wrote poetry and I painted. During this time, a luscious iconic image entered my creative imagination. I call this iconic image Angel Bee. A series of eighteen small multimedia paintings by Angel Bees soon followed. These paintings will one day become a collection of note cards and posters. The paintings are dynamic, unique and fun images of a winged creature energetically communicating with a human ear.
Making these little paintings brought my awareness to a place of deep listening to a new, exciting, unknown but attractive inner urge. Fifteen years later, this same deep listening quality is evoked when I open my hive.
When my hands are doing an action that is hurting a bee, the bee emits a buzzing noise that, to my ears, clearly says “oh, you are hurting me.” Guardian bees have a specific buzz that accompanies an irritated foray into my bee veil, clearly communicating “watch out!” There is a sweet murmur of satisfaction in which the colony communicates that all is well; when this buzzing is heard, the bees are calm and no smoking is necessary. When they are hungry and angry, the colony has another unique sound that lets me know that I need to offer supplemental food and be quick about it.
Enjoying this type of communication with thousands of insects is interesting.
The result of listening to my bees? The colony of healthy and wintery parents was not swarming. Three weeks after taking measurements based on listening to bees, I have two strong colonies and one Nuc, all with layer queens. The one-year-old queen of the mother colony ended up in the core of the hive, which is perfect. She is a supercedure queen since last fall and did an amazing job keeping her colony brood throughout the winter, leading to strong colony formation in early spring. She will make an excellent breeding queen and it will be easy to work with her locked in a happy core hive for a few more weeks.
This is all very curious and a bit magical too, which is fine. I hope to continue listening to my honey bees rather than imposing my will as a means to achieve any particular goal. Since I first hung up my bee pack last May, the bees were fed only sugar syrup that contained a nutritional supplement along with a blend of essential oils: lemon balm, peppermint, tea tree, lavender. These bees are lucky enough to live in a true green sanctuary – acres and acres of pesticide-free foraging. Of course, I hope the girls make extra honey this spring. The climate has been ideal for a generous flow of honey. We have had very little rain to delay the search for food; The days have been neither too hot nor too cold, so the bees don’t have to work as hard to keep the internal hive temperature at 93-94 degrees, which is best for their developing brood.
What’s the news from the colony this week? Unless they call and advise otherwise, I’ll leave the bees alone except to set up some small hive beetle traps, offer supplemental feeding because they are building a new honeycomb, and wait another week before making a Varroa sugar roll . and sprinkle with sugar so the new queens have a chance to settle in and find their egg-laying rhythm.
If you have had the experience of listening and / or listening to your honey bees, please leave a comment and share your story!