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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Mary Oliver and Bees

I often read a Mary Oliver poem at night before I go to sleep.  She writes so beautifully about nature.  Tonight I read two of her poems about bees and will share one of them with you.  It's titled:  "Happiness"
by Mary Oliver from American Primitive

In the afternoon I watched
the she-bear; she was looking
for the secret bin of sweetness -
honey, that the bees store
in the trees'soft caves
Black block of gloom, she climbed down
tree after tree and shuffled on
through the woods.  And then
she found it!  The honey-house deep
as heartwood, and dipped into it
among the swarming bees - honey and comb
she lipped and tongued and scooped out
in her black nails, until

maybe she grew full, or sleepy, or maybe
a little drunk, and sticky
down the rugs of her arms,
and began to hum and sway.
I saw her let go of the branches,
I saw her lift her honeyed muzzle
into the leaves, and her thick arms
as though she would fly -
an enormous bee
all sweetness and wings -
down into the meadows, the perfection
of honeysuckle and roses and clover -
to float and sleep in the sheer nets
swaying from flower to flower
day after shining day.

Here's an earlier post of a Mary Oliver poem also about bees.


  1. What a lovely poem!! That nearly lulled me to sleep!

  2. Greetings from a beekeeper in the San Francisco Bay Area! I found your blog while Googling Mary Oliver and bees and plotting this morning's blog post (http://tinyurl.com/7mwamtx). Delighted to have found you, and so curious to read about your adventures in beekeeping so far away from where I live. Wishing you much honey and few stings! ;>


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