Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'll Bee Back - The Importance Of The Bee

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left”...Pretty scary stuff considering the numbers of bees particularly native ones are reducing in numbers each year. How can the humble bee be so important in our lives that our existance relies on it?
Pollination. If bees don’t pollinate the flowers, or the many vegetables or most importantly the fruit trees it means famine world wide. In todays 21st century world of genetically altered pre-processed foods this might not seem so important but on a whole, it is a real catastrophe waiting to happen.
Bees have been worshipped throughout history and we have forgotten the importance she had, the Bee Goddess can be found back as far as Sumeria and the Egyptians worshipped Neith. On Crete there is ancient Bronze Age writings that translate to Mistress of the Honey and her role as a virgin Queen Bee Goddess was of great importance.
The myths and legends interact with these honey mistresses and the importance of honey to the Gods was utmost. They drank a form of sweet honey wine called ambrosia to stay immortal and ancient Egyptians used honey in the embalming process. Honey was used in many healing lotions and mead and other drinks were honey based. Pan, the God from Arcadia, of the shepherds was a beekeeper and kept watch over the nature of the fields.
The ancient Gods held the secrets of the honey and the important aspects of it’s existance, reverring it’s benefits and holding it sacred, the Goddesses, the virginal Queen Bees who tirelessly worked for her colony with no reward for herself, just to keep her colony going and her workers who tended her every need, keeping the colony alive with thier tenacity and ability to work together as one. Mating was done if required since the act meant instant death for the male. Death also came at a cost for the bee if he felt the need to sting.
The attributes of the bee and it’s resourcefulness overlaps into these ancient myths and stories of sweet honey, a gift from the Gods. Let’s not forget the humble bee and it’s abilities to provide us with the essentials to survive, nature, the abundance that nature has to offer, the cornucopia of life, the sweet oranges and juicy apples, the flowers that grow wild, lovingly provided for us by that insect that we often scorn for fear of being stung, when in fact, he has way more to lose…