“We are facing a fundamental problem with the decline of bees and other pollinators. They have an absolutely crucial role in pollinating many of our important crops – without them we will face higher food costs and potential shortages.”
I’ve always had a great fondness for bumble bees. More than any other bee they look like they are performing the seemingly impossible as they circuit the garden. How can those rapidly vibrating gossamer wings hold up that corpulent furry body? It’s one of nature’s mysteries. Bumble bees are not aerodynamically viable and yet they fly. Is it because they simply aren’t aware that they are not designed to fly? Can they do the impossible just because they don’t know it isn’t feasible? Or do they know and think ‘what the hell, let’s go for it’ and do it anyway? Turning the non-viable into the viable? I do hope so. It’s a great way to live life. Such an inspiration to us all.
I am feeling truly blessed this week. My home seems to have become a pitstop for newly emerged red bumble bee queens. I didn’t recognise them as bumble bees at first. Their rear end is so vibrant. I thought it was some exotic visitor from overseas but they are native to most of Britain it seems. I’ve had to release eight out into the garden so far and I can hear others buzzing about. One acted as my alarm clock this morning, reminding me to put the rubbish out for the dustcart. Even though they’re young, they look like sedate old ladies on an outing. Except that they so remind me of that poem about wearing a red hat:
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
And run my stick along the public railings,
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens,
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
Or only bread and pickle for a week,
And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats
and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised,
When suddenly I am old
and start to wear purple!
Isn’t that delicious? I’ll be three score years and ten later this year and although I haven’t got a red hat yet, I do wear a lot of purple!
But back to the bees. They are very precious. One poor wee soul had fallen into the kitchen sink and was very soggy but she soon revived with drop of honey to send her on her way. I learned a few years ago at Compton Acres that new queens tire easily and appreciate a quick feed and a chance to warm up before flying off again. My sun-warmed window ledge was perfect. If you want to know more about the intriguing lifestyle of the bumble bee take a look at the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust’s website: http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/lifecycle/
It seems my queens will need all their strength as they have this to look forward to soon:
Male bumble bees are said to die after mating and on Google Answers someone asked if they were aware of this and could they decline the opportunity? Richard Comont’s answer was so wonderfully left brained – and just in case you don’t know what that means here’s a fabulous hint from Mercedes Benz of all people:
Richard Comont – Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Male bees don’t sting: the sting is a modified ovipositor, so it’s physically impossible. As for the mating, it’s the entire point of his existence & he’s motivated by biological imperative, not conscious thought as we know it, so while he does have the power to decline (if you disturb them during the process, for example, the couple will split and both will fly off), it’s not in his interest to do so.
But I found this reply thought provoking:
Marcel M. Lambrechts – Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Montpellier, France
I don’t think bees evolved a mental state where they consciously know they will die after a behavioural decision. They are just confronted with the situation.
Mental state influenced by hormone-state (e.g. sexual drive) makes individual do surprising things….
Hmn, including sexual suicide? For the continuation of the species? Why?
More from Marcel:
Neurobiologists can measure brain activity and relate it to internal or external environmental factors, but they do not have access to the details of what living beings think or see in their mind if they don’t tell about it in human language. For instance, science uses simple measures of brain activity to study sleep patterns reflected in encephalograms or receptor responses. However, these measurements are insufficient to reveal which complex visual images, stories or senses are perceived during sleep. Most, if not all, humans claim dreams exist, but scientists cannot retrieve or replicate dream images to demonstrate their existence other than quantifying what dreamers tell. Scientists have to accept that they do not have access to everything.
They might use personal experiences as a reference how other organisms function, but this has been criticised by critical scientists…
Which led me to say to myself, ah, yes, but now shared non-ordinary realities has become academically acceptable (see my blog http://www.judyhall.co.uk/miscellaneous/enjoying-non-ordinary-realities) maybe the personal experience approach will begin to account for much more. And I’m sure we’d find a whole coterie of shamans out there who would argue strongly against that ‘bees are not conscious’ statement. There’s a very long and respected bee tradition throughout many cultures and they were always a symbol of wisdom and connection to the gods – and especially to the goddesses.
Sag musings that Aries and others with an impatient nature can skip and move onto the bee healing further down
Can someone be wise without being conscious? Almost as good a philosophical question as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Bees share that wonderfully telepathic hive mind that operates over vast distances. I often muse on the hive mind as a kind of collective consciousness that is actually unity consciousness in action. There’s a very thought provoking article on how your brain is actually a kind of hive mind all of its own,
Every decision you make is essentially a committee act. Members chime in, options are weighed, and eventually a single proposal for action is approved by consensus. The committee, of course, is the densely knit society of neurons in your head. And “approved by consensus” is really just a delicate way of saying that the opposition was silenced.
But the article also has a great description of a bee’s waggle dance in action http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/you-have-a-hive-mind/. And if you’re into such things there’s a scarily predictive article about how humanity is going to be artificially linked into a hive mind in the very near future http://io9.com/how-much-longer-until-humanity-becomes-a-hive-mind-453848055. The writer makes the comment that, with cell phones in almost everyone’s hand, a virtual hive mind is already being created. But the artificially created telepathic noosphere takes things one stop further. Mind control. What a nightmare. Bees of course don’t need artificial aids to communicate and neither do humans if we develop our own innate telepathic communication skills (see my Book of Psychic Development). And bees are certainly highly intelligent. I’ve known bees to pass on messages to humans – spiritual ones as well as practical ‘get up its time for the dustcart’. If a bumble bee crosses your path you should always follow to see where it leads. Naturally I looked up bee symbolism and this seemed to sum it up:
To summarize, we have associated the bee with service, diligence, the right use of creative imagination and desire, and the collection of wisdom from the experiences of life. From the association with the Egyptian goddess Neith, we have linked the bee to the discernment, and consequent use and administration, of the veiled laws and patterns of Nature, as well as the process of coming to know our own inner divinity as a spiritual fact. Finally, we have seen the bee as a symbol of spiritual royalty and the development of fine character. http://goddessschool.com/magickalbee.html
If you want to know more about bee shamanism and the pollen path to initiation, Simon Buxton’s book The Shamanic Way of the Bee is an excellent start. His sacred bee hives are just down the road from me. Another blessing. We won’t run out of honey if Simon has anything to do with it. Eating local honey is a great way to avoid hayfever and the ancient Egyptians healed wounds with it. So please, help heal the bees (see below). http://www.sacredtrust.org/the-shamanic-way-of-the-bee.php
I love synchronicities and the timing of my red bumble bee visitation is perfect. I’ll be at Hawkwood next week with the Company of Minerva exploring mythical beasties. One of the rituals will be the ‘honey communication of Artemis.’ A honey fest to connect to one of the most independent spirited and non-aligned of the Greek goddesses. She preferred to roam the forests with her maidens. She seems to have a powerful resonance with the resilient bumble bee queen who overwinters alone. I’m really looking forward to connecting with her.
But my bumble bee friends also reminded me of the invitation to heal the bees that I included in Earth Blessings which features the wonderfully exotic Bumble Bee Jasper, one of the most colourful of all crystals. This seems the perfect time to issue the invitation once again.
We need the bees and other pollinating insects if our natural food supplies are to continue but bees around the world are at risk both from viruses and pollution. This layout uses the Star of David or Flower of Life layouts to channel healing energy to the bees and grounds it through a Smoky Brandenberg, which helps to restore the perfect energetic blueprint for well-being.
Setting out the layout
Layout: Star of David or Flower of Life
Crystals: Bumble Bee Jasper (or Citrine) and Smoky Brandenberg
Place a Smoky Quartz at your feet if you feel at all floaty when sending your wishes out through the layout, the combination enables you to expand your consciousness and be grounded at the same time.
Note: Wash your hands thoroughly after handling Bumble Bee Jasper.
Place your layout out near nectar-rich flowers. This one in my garden attracted a honey bee dance troupe to my sage bush. You can just glimpse one on the upper lefthand corner but we counted about three dozen.
Making the layout work for you: the Flower of Life
If flowers do not grow where you live, you can place Bumble Bee Jasper or Citrine on a Flower of Life and hold the intention that this will convey healing to the bees and pollinating insects of your neighbourhood, or any domestic or wildlife that needs support.
Enjoy your summer flowers!
Formed in the fumeroles of volcanoes and including a combination of Sulphur, Orpiment, Volcanic Ash and Anhydrite, the outrageously coloured Bumble Bee Jasper assists the impossible to manifest with ease and grace. An excellent stone for healing the bee population of the world so that pollination and germination can continue throughout nature, it fertilises possibilities on more subtle levels too. Its vibrant colours infuse energy into the Earth and the physical body, and this bubbly stone can bring great joy to the user. Note: Bumble Bee Jasper contains toxic elements and should be handled with care. It is best used tumbled. Wash hands after use.
You can purchase Bumble Bee Jasper from www.angeladditions.co.uk. If you don’t see any on the site email Jeni as she has a new batch waiting to go on. But supplies are limited so don’t leave it too long.
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