I’m jealous of bees. Everyday they wake-up driven by a sense of purpose and really important work to do. They belong to a network that supports every move they make. I am 58…still wondering.
#1 They make honey.
#2 In their quest for nectar they pollinate and inadvertently save the world.
My friend/aunt keeps a little mason jar bee thing to hatch a few bees in the spring. I believe it renews her sense of wonder while supporting a dwindling population. Part of our kinship is paying attention to the activities and survival of birds, bees and other special animals including but not limited to her border collie and my blue heeler. Directing our attention to such things is really helpful when the other world overwhelms.We have bonded over other things like me getting to sleepover in her bed on Christmas eve where we would sing Christmas carols in the dark until we fell asleep. Special memories.
Its her birthday so I wanted to write her a poem about bees.
But first, consider the bee.
First there are flowers. Then there are bees that are attracted to the colors. They smell the nectar with antennae. I suspect that the flowers sing like sirenes that brought sailors to shore in the time of Odysseus but I don’t know for sure.
“stay your ship, so that you can listen here to our singing; for no one else has ever sailed past this place in his black ship until he has listened to the honey-sweet voice that issues from our lips;.. . So they sang, in sweet utterance, and the heart within me desired to listen, and I signaled my companions to set me free, nodding with my brows,…”
Bees having answered the call, insert their long tongue proboscis to collect the nectar that they then store in their honey stomachs. Almost by accident, pollen sacks attach to their legs and to their fuzzy bodies. They cover about 100 flowers a flight and take about 4 flights a day.
YES THEY HAVE HONEY STOMACHS!
Flowers, which are large sized miracles in themselves are symbiotically perfect to accommodate the bee. The male flower as stama and anther that produce the MILLIONS OF GRAINS of pollen and the female has stigma and pistel. This dating system that relies on pollinators, all kinds of insects, birds, wind and water sustains our planet; fruit, berry, vegetable, nut, crop, tree. But bees ALSO make honey. They return to their perfect 6-sided hexagonal home (WHOSE IDEA WAS THAT?) and regurgitate the good stuff so they can make more bees.
FLOWERS ARE FOR BEES & BEES ARE FOR HONEY & HONEY IS FOR BEES & FOR US. ITS A BEAUTIFUL THING!
You know the big question about whether the chicken or egg came first. Another mystery of creation… flower or bee?
Me: “In the desert I put a bowl of water down for my dog. It was almost instantly covered by bees.
Her: “I wonder what honey tastes like from a desert.”
Me: “Mesquite.” I asked google.
Her: “Desert sunshine must be different than rainforest / Honey is like distilled sunshine / an alchemy of flowers and bees/ Sometimes when my mason bees hatch / they crawl on my hand, / sit in the warm of my skin, / and then take off, / the oddest sensation, they sort of hold on, / weightless rustly things, /wearing taffeta / just for bees./ I am their aircraft carrier / before they launch into spring.
I didn’t write a poem, but heard hers. She doesn’t think she’s a poet! The pictures are hers too. Happy Birthday to my poet- bee-loving friend.
Please leave a happy birthday message if you enjoyed this or an “I love bees” in the comments.