It is not every day that I meet a bee priestess at her bee sanctuary. But it just happened, in the South Point of the Big Island of Hawaii! Through a magical synchronistic set of circumstances I was able to find and meet a Melissae sister Alison Yahna.
We connected for a few hours, and under the buzzing of her kitchen hive we entered into the “Hive zone” where time and space became ethereal. We both recognized each other from another time through the shared stories and visions that we have received from the bees, shamanic journeying and dreams.
It is always a sweet reminder that I am on the right path when I find bee sisters with whom I can connect in this way. It is together that we are reconstructing the comb that holds the forgotten stories of the path and the medicine of the hive. We are the new archetypes creating the modern day mythology of the Melissae. As I sit and write this I got a very special book in the mail “The Song of Increase – Returning to Our Sacred Partnership with Honeybees” by Jacqueline Freeman. It is hard to focus and write this because I just want to finish reading this amazing book. It is, as if I’m writing and reading the same story. The book is yet another confirmation and I will include some of the bees voices from the book in this post.
My trip to Hawaii was partly fun and relaxation and partly research and exploration both professionally and spiritually. I have been working on a plan to create a bee sanctuary, a place to honor, protect and learn from the bees. This is a vision (a task) that was given to me by the bees. Hawaii keeps coming up as a place to explore for this project. I visited a few farms and talked to many farmers while I was there. They all reported the same, the bees are dying. Similar to the bees in the main land, the bees in Hawaii are suffering from the Varroa Mites. But the island has also been hit with two recent invaders, Nosema ceranae, and the small hive beetle, which have further exasperated the disappearance of the bees in the Big Island. Nosema is a type of fungus that can shorten the bee’s life span by about one week. The small hive beetle has spread to hives around the island and is responsible for the loss of thousands of hives on the island. It lays its eggs in the hives and as the larvae develop, they eat everything in the hive leaving a slime, which renders the hive unlivable for the bees. This happens really fast and bee keepers have to be on a constant search for the beetles checking the hives every four days or so, which is really time consuming and hard to do.
When I meet with Allison we talked about this issue and she reported that she has lost a lot of her hives to the beetles. She thinks the shape of the hives is a big contributor to the problem because the beetles can easily hide in the square boxes. She is working on transitioning her hives to round hives – sun hives and has a business plan to create sun hives as they are currently not available in the US. She is seeing wild hives build on the open air. Hawaii is warm enough that bees dont need the box and she thinks this helps them protect from the pests because there is no place for them in the open air hives.
We also talked about the larger complexity of why bees are dying. Yes, the systemic pesticides (Neonicotinoids) applied indiscriminately to all plants, edibles and ornamentals, are weakening the immune system of the bees. Yes, bees are unable to survive the pest that attack them. But all that, in a way, is a symptom of the larger problem. We have lost our sacred relationship with bees.
In ancient times, humans planted a garden and bees pollinated it and made it fertile. Humans approached bees with reverence and looked at them with a certain consciousness as if they were divine gods on earth. Humans loved and honored bees. This was a common theme on all ancient civilizations. In Greece, the priestess of the oracle at Delphi were known as the Delphic Bees – The Melissae, they gathered around the Omphalo (a hive shaped stone) for guidance and psychic knowledge. In the bees words through Jacqueline Freeman “Pollination is much more than fertilization. The act of pollinating moves reproductive forces and, at the same time, enlivens the ether…The hive is a beacon of light where work and love go hand in hand. To the nature spirits, each hive and each bee is wrapped in light. The sound of an industrious hive is so full of life that it feeds the soul. Hives are sources of spiritual nourishment for the kingdom of nature’s spirits and places of deep reverence. Nature spirits come here and recharge and rejuvenate themselves.”
Today, bees are being exploited in an abusive, unsustainable and broken agricultural system. They are shipped from monoculture to monoculture, sprayed with pesticides, feed sugar water or even worse high fructose corn syrup, treaded with chemicals and they are feared by the majority of people. But mostly bees are not allowed to swarm and queens are being raped and artificially inseminated to keep certain genetic traits that make them easy to control and manage. In commercial hives queens are replaced every year and old queens are killed. However queens can live up to 6 years and it is the scent of a queen that keeps a hive together. Alison worked with the queen breeders in Kona, they are one of the largest queen breeders in the country, producing about half a million queens from a few dozen drones sperm through artificial insemination. The message Allison got from the bees while she was there was “Raise the Queen, Raise your own inner Queen!”
In the words of the bees through Freeman “Each Queen’s scent differs from the next by her story…This scent surrounds us and speaks to us every day telling us how loved we are and, in return, we want nothing but to honor them by being in service to the queen…When beekeepers replace a Queen we grieve inconsolably in her absence and then a stranger is thrown into our midst…This new Queen who smells of foreign land, does not know our ancestors, the elements, nor the natural history of our sisters and brothers. Our true Queen is gone and without her our family line is empty.”
Swarming is also a very important part of the hive, it has been controlled and denied in commercial bee keeping and discourage by bee keeping associations for hobbyist bee keepers. Swarming is how bees naturally reproduce and adapt to the environment and change their DNA. In Alison’s words “swarming is how bees infuse their species with vital energy from the cosmos.” New queens go out and mate with 12 to 20 drones taking all of their sperm. This gives the queens a wide diversity of genetical traits to adapt to changes.
Alison told me that bees reflect the consciousness of humans. To them, we are the gods of this planet and our thoughts are physical and real. The situation of bees is a reflection of the situation of humanity. Bees don’t need to be cured with chemical treatments. We agree that bees should be let alone, treatment free. She thinks the most important thing we can do is send love to the bees, change the thought pattern away from fear and move into reverence and love for the bees. It is through love that we all elevate our vibration and well being. One of my teachers, Laura Bee, director of the College of the Melissae also speaks about keeping treatment free bees, let them do what they know what to do and adapt. She has taught me the power of visualization and prayer with and for the bees. We must create a new level of collective consciousness where we see bees as goddesses again. Elevating their status will help them heal and do their work which is needed for our own wellbeing. We must work together.
Alison has created a bee sanctuary in the South Point in the shape of the flower of life. This sanctuary is a place to honor the bees, portal, an energetic grid and has been created only for bees not for humans. This is a place for the bees to gather strength and carry the new restored way of thinking and caring for bees. She hopes that this sanctuary will be replicated all over the world. This sanctuaries will be anchor points from which the planetary shifts will be moving into a higher vibration.
2015 is the year we raise the queen, build bee sanctuaries/temples and spread the love for the bees! More than ever our commitment to building healthy environments for pollinators is at the front of our work. We are working not only on the design and creation of pollinator gardens and sanctuaries but also on education and advocacy for pollinators. We are excited for all the projects that will be happening this year and for new partnerships and collaboration with many sacred sites in which we will build bee sanctuaries. Stay tuned and let us know if you want to build a bee sanctuary in your land.
In the words of the bees through Freeman ” This is the gift we bring: Complete, sacred Unity in body and spirit. To be in the presence of spirit, to simply sit and “be” in such presence, can offer the opportunity to be transformed by it. This, we offer you. Come sit. Be with us. Drink in the Unity as you would fresh rain. We offer our gift with great joy and love!”