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Wholeness & Wellness Journal
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Volume 16 Issue 2
July/August 2010

Listen! Can You Hear the Buzz?

A Fresh Look at Salads

T'ai Chi Chih: Joy Through Movement

Cohousing: A New Option for Seniors

Focusing: A Self-Managed Therapy

Be One of the First in North America to Experience… Crystal Light Healing™

Primal Fire Intensive for Total Freedom to Be You


Listen! Can You Hear the Buzz?
The Beauty and Blessings of Honey Bees

by Maka

As the global honey bees’ population continues declining at an alarming rate, their presence is in the awareness and conversation of humans more than ever before!

We are in the midst of the most exciting time of our Earth Mother’s long life span and the honey bees are at the heart of the matter. They are our most wonderful, sweetest, most fierce, and profound emissaries. Ambassadors for whom? From where, you ask? Why do we need emissaries? Essentially because “it is time to get ourselves back to the garden” where we’ll find the bees blissfully buzzing! “Revering animals and other forms of life can help us to re-establish the sacred balance of life in our environment. Animals may also aid us in our everyday lives, or in our dreams, meditations, myths, and fairytales. Some Native American teachings say that, since they were created before humans, animals are closer to the Source. Thus, animals act as allies, guides, and familiars in our search for Wholeness.” (The Heart of the Goddess: Art, Myth, and Meditations of the World’s Sacred Feminine, 1990.)

Many indigenous traditions including the Hopi, Vedic, and Lakota tell us that Mother Earth is on the cusp of a new grand cycle of life. The Maya call this transition, which according to the Long Count Calendar centres around year 2012, the Shift of the Ages. Shifting! Shifting beliefs, shifting perceptions, shifting paradigms.

Before actually travelling to the land of the Maya, I imagined that Mayan shamans probably revered the jaguar or the quetzal as their most important animal totem. Not so. Particularly in the Yucatan, where the bee god, Ah Muzen Cab, is portrayed in stucco relief on temple walls, no Mayan shaman worth his salt would be without his jabone log hive of stingless Melipona honey bees. Shamans care for these Melipona in the most sacred manner, and only harvest honey through ceremony in alignment with specific lunar cycles. The Maya assert that honey bees are a precious gift to Mother Earth from her sister planet Venus. Ahhh… Aunty Venus, Goddess of love, beauty, and harmony! As it turns out, satellite observations show Venus as the planet of volcanoes, too. Goddesses can be wrathfully eruptive, and bees can sting to protect themselves when threatened. The Maya name for Venus is Xux Ek meaning the bee or wasp star. Sun is also associated with honey bees. The Maya say that honey is the sweat of the Sun and Egyptians described honey as tears of the Sun God, Re. In Minoan Crete, whenever someone sighted a honey bee tickling a flower, they exclaimed, “Here’s the Goddess!” In that beautiful Crete culture, a caste of priestesses known as the melissae performed ceremonies in sacred caves and at temples to keep life in harmony by honouring the bees. Centuries later, honey bees continue capturing humanity’s imagination. And, reality is shifting! Paradoxically, as the global honey bees’ population continues declining at an alarming rate, their presence is in the awareness and conversation of humans more than ever before!

My own calling to the bees began in 1979. I was pregnant and (like most of my hippy relations) determined to get out of the city. An abandoned farm-yard manifested itself north of Blaine Lake, SK, someone gave me a nanny goat, and I began planting a garden. Next spring the bees arrived, and for the next 13 years I maintained four hives—along with a growing baby, chickens, horses, more goats, geese, and turkeys. Honey bees in Saskatchewan hold the record for volume of honey collected per hive due to so many clover and forage crops, such as alfalfa. Every winter, while the bee colonies in our yard were nestled into their black insulated wrappings, nibbling on their honey rations, we were giving away hand-dipped candles and jars of honey to everyone we knew. Back in those days my awareness was not where it is today. I’m grateful to say that after extensive bodywork, spirit-guided travel, buddhist retreats with Tibetan monks, a raw food diet, shamanic initiation, various other quests for truth, enlightenment, and goddesses, my consciousness around bees is definitely shifting. For those 13 seasons, whenever checking on the hives to add more boxes for them to fill or taking away the filled boxes to spin in the extractor, I wore thick leather gloves to avoid stings and always the beekeeper’s veil of protection. I admit to smashing bees in the process. And, just like the other beekeepers, I fed them sugar water after taking most of their honey in the fall time.

Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the bees were leading me to play a significant role in the 2012 drama. Evolution is happening! Honey bees are assisting my enlightenment and I’m happy to even be included in the circle of contemporary bee priestesses, as honey bees now spiral back into my world. One evening in spring 2007, in Taos, New Mexico, while out offering prayers at dusk, the Sun Goddesses telepathically directed me: “Maka, look at what’s happening with the bees.” Although I avoid the mass media like a plague, I had somehow caught wind that the winter loss of honey bees had been more severe than usual and I also recalled reading somewhere about a Bee Goddess. Sure enough, bees were not simply experiencing winter die-off, they were mysteriously vanishing into thin air. Some established apiaries had lost up to 80 percent of their hives. It didn’t take long to learn of Bhramari Devi, the Bee Goddess, who produced black bees out of the palms of her four hands when a wicked destructive demon was ravishing the land and he needed to be banished from the Earth garden. Hmm... if the Bee Goddess can make bees appear, perhaps she can also call them to disappear? Here on the prairies we are aware of the legend of White Buffalo Calf Woman which opens with the disappearance of the buffalo and starving hunters. Sometimes a goddess needs to be radical in order to attract human beings’ attention.

Shifting back into 3-D reality, the bee goddess led me to meet Les Crowder, an exceptional bee master who tends honey bees in a natural, sustainable, holistic manner in northern New Mexico. Buzzing back to the garden has many earthlings dreaming about solid straw bale solarized homes and such. The bees are likewise happy to have an alternative to the conventional apartment building-style stacks of boxes for hives. The alternative method proven by Les uses a design called topbar hive. The bees are basically allowed to be bees by building their own honeycomb as nature intended and the bees’ well-being takes primary focus, rather than production of honey for human consumption. Generally, these bees do have extra honey to share with their caretakers. So far, bees in these hives are not suffering from the diseases and challenges which are decimating bee populations in the conventional hives. No Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) disappearances reported. In Saskatchewan, at two organic gardens near Regina, five of the topbar hives are now established. If all goes well, next spring we will begin workshops to help backyard bee enthusiasts get buzzing with honey bees in a simple, inexpensive, and bee-friendly manner. To learn more about topbar hives visit www.fortheloveofbees.com.

A field day demonstration is scheduled for Sunday, August 29, and everyone is welcome. A Bee-Here-Now ceremony will begin the day, the hives will be opened, honey will be flowing, and a delicious lunch will be served with honey cakes for dessert. For details and to RSVP contact Maka at www.thebeegoddess.com or phone (605) 430-7139 or (306) 738-4905.

Maka is a renegade independent filmmaker and bee priestess. She is currently in development phase of a documentary entitled, The Honey Bees of 2012, launched with the NFB prairie studio in collaboration with White Buffalo Calf Productions, Inc., a film corporation which she co-founded.


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