As much of the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, many of us on this side of the pond were introduced to a tradition spanning back as far as the 18th century, “Telling the Bees.” It is believed that one must share the news of the birth or death of a loved one the with the hives because if you do not, the bees will fly away. And though this ritual underscores the regard in which man, for centuries, has had for honeybees, what do the bees tell us when we listen?
Beekeeping should really be referred to as “bee having”. We don’t really keep the bees. And anyone that has watched their hive swarm away between their fingers knows all too well that they aren’t ours to keep. One of the most rewarding aspects of “bee having” is observing the interactions of the bees inside the hive. Though bees are merely insects, their selflessness and commitment to the whole is to be admired.