Written by Trixie’s List writer, Romeo Barkley
On Mother’s Day weekend we celebrated the great Queen bee of them all, the queen Honeybee! Through The Workshop Experience , Sha-Na lead a class on tending to Honey bees holistically.
We started the class understanding the practices of biodynamic farming. Biodynamic farming is a holistic, ecological and ethical approach to farming, gardening and food propagation. By approaching farming that the garden is an integrated, whole living organism, we were better able to understand t hat the animals, soils, compost and plantings make up the spirit of a place.
Sha-Na approaches the hives by tuning her own vibration, either by centering herself, reciting a mantra or shamanic poem or with a tuning bowl. Bees are metaphysical creates and they pick up on any aggita vibrations. This shamanic ritual is a toa type of doorbell to announce her arrival to check the hives. She will sometimes use a smoker burning herbs like sage, bee balm as an alarm to not surprise the creatures. In the smoker she will burn propolis. Propolis is resin created by bees that is responsible for their immunity. The vapors from the incense also help our immunity!
Once she can look inside the hive, Sha-Na is able to look if the bees are ‘festooning’ or creating a chain link with their bodies to build wax or comb. When handling the bees, she will sometimes use a feather to gentle move them around, careful not to hurt or damage their delicate bodies.
The class taught about how to tend to bees, but also about their colony culture. Fun things included: their bee bread (a pollen and enzyme mixture they feed to the brood), the waggle dance (a dance they perform perpendicular to the sun to alert the other bees to the pollen source) as well as Royal Jelly (an excretion from their brains to feed the queen)
We touched on some of the infamous bee sting! The bee does not want to sting you because if she does, she dies. Also she releases pheromones to alert other bees to come and attack. So with one sting—get out of there, you’re upsetting everyone.
Bees are magical creatures. One little bee’s entire life creates a ½ a teaspoon of honey.