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Sunday, May 22, 2011

When bees say goodbye

I was captured today by the behavior of two little bees, one alive and one who was no longer living.  I spotted these beautiful little critters on the back patio landing that leads our steps to the rickety basement.  The basement is not finished, but exposed and houses the laundry area.  I had taken some clothes downstairs for the first of several runs of laundry and upon coming up to the ground level, there they were, this lovely pair of bees.  I had  intended to write today about my seminar, but this story tells us about what I learned most from the seminar.

At first the bees were hard to see, with the old cement, moss, tiny pebbles and what not.  But as I bent down to take a closer look, I saw one on it's side, not moving and the other passifying and tending to what seemed to be a dear friend.  I know absolutely nothing about bee behavior and did a quick search so that I could find some substantial information about what I saw, but really found nothing.

As soon as I saw the bees, I sat down on a step and watched, and gazed and wondered and almost felt the pain of the living bee.  I felt so bad, and wanted to do something to help it, but couldn't.  Since having cancer, I have found myself much more sensitive to animals in general, I just feel them in a different way than before.  They have spirits and are not just nerves and tissue.  For example, just last night a raccoon was on our roof, and upon it seeing me looking at him, walked from the edge of the house to an area just above the door and he just stared at me.  I could feel him and wondered, wow, and oh this bad or good.  Either way, it was a being, not just an animal. (I've always believed all animals have spirits, it's just that now that sense is much more intensified.)

After sitting outside for a bit, I did a small search on the internet.  I did read that sick bees are either taken from a hive or take it upon themselves to leave the nest when they are sick, so as not to infect the rest of the bees.  It preserves the overall health of the nest and prolongs the hive's life.  I wonder if this is what had happened to the poor little bee.  Maybe the caretaker followed the bee to be with him during his last moments.

As I sat there outside on the step, I actually took the back of my hand and stroked the back of the caretaker bee. Before I did this though, I hesitated a bit because I thought, "don't do that, it's silly and it'll probably sting me".  Well, it didn't sting me or anything really.  It was focused on it's friend.  It just moved it's antennae  and continued to keep doing it's business.  The caretaker bee was stroking the dying bee with it's antennae, slowly moving around, seemingly to sniff and touch and massage it.  It was just fascinating. I have never seen anything like this anywhere. 

The caretaker bee was not in any way hurting the other bee.  The caretaker bee was literally taking it's antennae and touching the other bee in multiple places, as if to comfort it.  This went on for over an hour.

As I sat there, mesmerized by this activity, I started to think about what motivates a bee to do this. Why would a bee spend so much time taking care of another bee, who was obviously either dead or almost dead. I thought about love and how we, as humans, need love to thrive and to "be" and without love we could literally die of deep depression or other ailments.

I thought about how nature instills this loving instinct in all of us and why does this survival mechanism get bogged down and altered in humans.  

Well during this time I went back inside to call my dear Aunt who is having a minor surgery tomorrow,  to wish her well.  I went back outside when our conversation ended, and the caretaker bee was gone.  All that was left was the tiny body of the other bee, lying there still and in peace.  The space suddenly felt empty, and a feeling of loneliness swept over me.

So I stood there, quiet for a moment, and then moved the bee to the soil. I felt compelled to honor this little creature so I placed a few tiny rocks around it's body.  

At the seminar this past Friday, I felt lots of love in the room.  It was a course for ovarian cancer survivors, sponsored by the Foundation for Women's Cancer:

What I really learned at the seminar is that we all need to care for each other, care about each other, and pray for one another.  It is in this that we heal.

May you rest in peace little bee friend.  Thank you for reminding me of what love means, for without it, there's nothing.  To my readers, love your neighbors as you love yourself.  

Peace and Blessings to you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a lovely and thoughtful post. Your words were so clear that I could almost "see" those two bees, the one watching over the other. Yes, we need to love better.


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