On Reviving Bees
by Gary Simons
I found her buzzing lethargically against the window. Only she knew how long she’d been there. I got the proverbial glass and paper to catch her. To take her away from the invisible barrier that kept her from getting to the light of the sun to which her instinctual intelligence called her.
I placed a drop of unrefined, raw, badger friendly, honey, now on my finger tip, and let her crawl out of the glass to feed. Then began a deep contemplation of the beauty of such a small creature. Watching her proboscis drinking up the sweet energy. Watching her clean herself with a dexterity that confounded my knowledge of what could be done with exoskeleton legs. She truly had moves most seasoned yoga practitioners would almost give up Nirvana for.
Fine hairs on her body were preened. Wings were tested for functionality. Then with the honey energy kicking in, she buzzed upwards, hovered a while and disappeared back onto her bee highway. A pathway invisible to my human eye.
For me, reviving one bee every now and then is a contemplative and humbling experience. There is, however, another contemplation that involves bees. Millions and millions and millions of them. For the moment, that is. For if we don’t, as a species very dependent on the bees, make a concerted effort to protect, preserve, and grow the numbers of bees, those millions and millions will become thousands and thousands, and then they’re almost as good as gone. That reality is decidedly not pretty, and should be not only the subject of contemplation, but also of action.
You’ve probably read, or been told, of the crisis facing the world bee population. There are many causes of their demise. From foulbrood disease, to theories of how EMF’s are destroying their ability to navigate, to the continued use of pesticides which, ironically, lead to the deaths of the very creatures that the farmers and gardeners need to pollinate and grow fruit, or veggies, or pretty flowers.
It appears that many of these things are beyond the ability of one person to do anything about. I suggest that therein lies our biggest problem. We need to take another lesson of the bees to heart. It is only through their collective working together, that flowers are pollinated on mass, nectar is collected, and honey is produced. There are indeed things we can do as individuals within our own home and environs, but we need to be lots and lots and lots of people doing them. Here are a couple of practical ideas to get you started on being part of a collective reviving the bee populations in your area.
- Educate yourself. We have an awesome resource for this right here on the Gondwana sight. Check out the work being done by Ujubee. Contact them for an informed insight into how you can help. Organise them to give a talk to your neighborhood, book club, business network, etc.
- Check out this documentary.
- Stop the use of pesticides and sprays that are harmful or deadly to the bees. This can also include organic pesticides. One I recently picked up to control aphids, had Pyrethrum in it. This is apparently also deadly for bees.
- Support your local beekeepers by encouraging them to use natural processes that are kind to the bees. E.g. do they use corn syrup, or sugar water in their hives to ‘wake up’ or ‘supplement’ their bees honey-making process. Two words, “NOT GOOD”.
- Sign significant petitions like Avaaz “Save the Bees”. Encourage others to do the same.
- Both individually and collectively, let your local store owners know that you won’t support them if they continue to stock pesticides that contain chemicals harmful to pollinators.
- Plant lots of bee friendly, endemic trees and plants in your garden and neighbourhood. If you’re not sure, ask a reputable local nursery for their insight.
A final thought from contemplating bees. The colony serves the queen, their great mother. It is time we saw ourselves as a colony serving the Great Mother herself, Mother Nature, not the other way around.