So there has been an uptick in the participation of bees in my everyday. In the past two weeks I have been stung twice, and had two more seemingly meaningful apian encounters. It seems like something worth contemplating or at least conveying. If any of you reading this know about the role of bees in spiritual or holistic thought I would be interested to hear your interpretation of the following events. Something tells me my encounters with these insects are not yet over.
A couple weeks ago, while I was dumpstering some bread, there was a particularly beautiful cherry danish that I immediately bit into instead of placing into the box with the others. As I enjoyed the sweet filling and buttery dough, a sharp sting pierced my lower lip. I quickly found a yellow jacket stuck to the bottom of the danish and chastised myself for not checking the bottom before taking a bite. I thought little of it, tossed the danish aside and went about on my days work. I discovered I have a very minimal reaction to the venom of a yellow jacket and aside from a sharp stinging sensation at the exact location I was stung, no other swelling or negative symptoms developed.
About a week later, last weekend, I was at a brunch picnic upstate. While cleaning up afterwards, I went to finish the last of some orange juice that had been left on the picnic table. Something solid was in the juice and there was a crisp crunch and pop that only slightly proceeded a sharp stinging sensation on the inside of my lip. As I removed the foreign object to discover it was another yellow jacket, the stinging sensation intensified. I had been stung in the same place on my lower lip, this time on the inside. I had inadvertently killed this yellow jacket and I placed it in a nearby trash can. Again, I had minimal reaction aside from a lingering stinging sensation at the exact location of the sting. I felt a little bad that I had killed the bee and revisited the dead body in the trash can before moving on and enjoying the rest of the day.
Yesterday, as I was tagging tress to be pruned and/or removed at Smiling Hogshead Ranch to make way for a more productive, cultivated landscape, I came across a tree hollow with bees flying in and out at a regular rate. I could not see the hive that I’m sure exists inside up in the tree but the activity made me very happy and I quickly went to show and tell the other garden members present that morning. I took a couple pictures and a video. It is not every day that you find such a beautiful wonder as a natural bee hive. I am absolutely thrilled to have this co-habitating species at the Ranch.
This morning I was enjoying my morning cup of tea on the roof of the Flux Factory. I, along with everyone else enjoying their breakfast and the warm sun, noticed a heavy presence of bees. As others moved away from where the bees buzzed around, I reached out to one of them. It landed on my hand and made it’s way to my fingernails. I apparently had something she liked under my nails and she began using her proboscis (tongue-like mouthpart) to probe the edges of my nails. It faintly tickled and I felt like she was cleaning or somehow grooming me. As I inspected her fuzzy abdomen and the quirky way she would rub or clean her antenna with her front legs, another be landed on my other hand and began doing similar things, cleaning both under my nails and wiping her head and antenna with her forelegs.
I don’t know what this means, if anything. But I tend to believe that nature/Earth/Gaia is speaking to me in a way. It seems uncanny and like something I should pay attention to. I don’t want to overanalyze any of it but I cannot let it slip away as some sort of fluke or non-meaningful series of events. I will continue to reflect on these encounters and, while trying not to intentionally make more encounters happen, I will definitely bee more aware (see what I did there;) of what the pollinators are bringing to my life.