When I was born the wells were dry.
I rambled North through woods and fields
The first one said the magic words.
We need the egg from a honey bee
Seemed like 24 days in the wilderness
Now my mind was good and clean
When people ask me how I got started with bees, I answer with the truth. “I won six bee hives in a poker game.” It covers up for the real truth: that just like the Jersey Devil before me, I was forgotten in the hollow of a Johnny Appleseed tree, whence came a corny unicorn who said to me, "You're meant to bee, boy. Meant to bee." Whence came the bees, who cared for me four score and propolized me much.
At least the part about the Jersey Devil is true. My next favorite thing to do is respond to the new most popular question. Formerly, once the foray found itself fussing with someone routinely interrogated by insects, the exclusive question was, “Do you ever get stung?” Since the bee story got hot, the only question is, “What’s wrong with the bees?”
So of course I feign utter ignorance.
“We heard that the bees aren’t doing so well.”
We are feeling some sort of BUZZ...
I do now. But it came slowly as I learned from the hives. Years ago, I used to think I was saving the bees when we started breeding with Russian stock without mite treatments in Vermont.
Now I find that idea of “saving” presumptuous. To let things bee wild, I had to start all over. And get out of the way.
I wasn’t told that what is most important in this world is LAND or that we all have a birthright to tend and care for it. I wasn’t taught to question why what goes on here on a given plot is designated by a government, company, or mandate, a thousand miles away, paid off to say so by someone else on the other side of the planet. The bees were telling me all along. I had much healing to do to combine my listening with my living in the now. I was distant. Like New Jersey. All gold was fool’s gold. I walked out of a Nintendo world towards a subsistence lifestyle, and the bees and I are still far from getting there. Not to chase a chauvinistic “Individualism” but to work with immediate community. OR I could have ignored the mask put on our country's anthropocentric animosity, kept going to almond pollination. Instead, I live somewhere where we practice skills, grow food and cook food for each other and give it all away. Everyone receives food, medicine, and help without any sort of payment other than their own sharing.
These are times of prophecy, and we are the frontlines. The night of the vampires doesn’t really exist, though it’s fun to think so. It amounts to us all being safe. The vampires are our complacency. Vampires are really robots. They live among us. The zombies tried to be robots. It didn’t fly.
Let’s help each other change the sheets on the deathbed of industrial agriculture. Promise yourself to slow down when you eat and savor your food. Support a network of bioregional wisdom, and keep it simple enough to teach a child. What we teach our children is the next world to be. A place where the wild things grow.