I'm a late bloomer when it comes to keeping bees. I had definitely entered my second half of life when I discovered the world of beekeeping. And, at first, I was appalled and disappointed that I had not discovered beekeeping at an earlier age. "Think of all the additional years of beekeeping that I could have had," I said to myself.
But then something happened that changed my attitude.
Through the world of beekeeping I discovered the world of honey bees.
And, in my opinion, they are not the same thing. Not at all.
If the world of beekeeping is interesting, I soon discovered that the world of honey bees is fascinating, beautiful, and wondrous beyond all imagining. I quickly gave up the study of beekeeping and embraced the study of honey bees. And, like I said, those are two very different things.
As I studied the honey bees themselves, I experienced a growing awareness of a disparity between how honey bees are designed to live - how they do live in the wild - and what we as humans have subjected them to with our modern, conventional/commercial beekeeping equipment and practices.
After much study and consideration, for myself, I was left with no choice but to adopt the bee-centered core belief that the bees know best what's best for the bees. And I decided to let the bees teach me.
The result, in my case, was the development, over time, of the Bee Tree Hive. Is it the final word in healthy, sustainable, natural beekeeping equipment? Of course not. The bees will keep teaching me and I will keep responding. But it's my best response, so far, to what I believe the bees are teaching me. I'm so excited and grateful to be on this journey.
And my attitude, now, has changed.
I am so glad that I did not discover beekeeping, and hence the world of honey bees, until I did. I am so glad that I did not become steeped in conventional/commercial beekeeping practices. I am so glad that I didn't discover beekeeping until my heart was ready to see and respond to the bees themselves.
Now, I'm not even sure the word "beekeeper" applies to me. I don't keep bees. Rather, I see myself as a bee-centered host, or steward, of honey bees, who simply wants to help them return to the vitality that they deserve and that the earth needs.
and they will.
And I just want to be there...
cheering them on.