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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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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Cycle of Life

Of course, I'm still thinking about how it was that the hive was chosen to be robbed.  Then I think it was part of the cycle of life.  It's one of the things that happens in nature, part of the bigger picture that I am too small a speck in the universe to see how it fits into the scheme of things.

I grew up in a town that then and still now only held about 16,000 people.  It is daunting to think of an entire community three times that size being wiped out in a day...which is what happened to my bee hive.

So here's another Mary Oliver poem that is right on point for this sad event:


Black Bear in the Orchard

It was a long winter.
But the bees were mostly awake
in their perfect house,
the workers whirling their wings
to make heat.
Then the bear woke,

too hungry not to remember
where the orchard was,
and the hives.
He was not a picklock.
He was a sledge that leaned
into their front wall and came out

the other side.
What could the bees do?
Their stings were as nothing.
They had planned everything
except for this: catastrophe.

They slumped under the bear’s breath.
They vanished into the curl of his tongue.
Some had just enough time
to think of how it might have been --
the cold easing,
the smell of leaves and flowers

floating in,
then the scouts going out,
then their coming back, and their dancing --
nothing different
but what happens in our own village.
What pity for the tiny souls

who are so hopeful, and work so diligently
until time brings, as it does, the slap and the claw.
Someday, of course, the bear himself
will become a bee, a honey bee, in the general mixing.
Nature, under her long green hair,
has such unbendable rules,

and a bee is not a powerful thing, even
when there are many,
as people, in a town or a village.
And what, moreover, is catastrophe?
Is it the sharp sword of God,
or just some other wild body, loving its life?

Not caring a whit, black bear
blinks his horrible, beautiful eyes,
slicks his teeth with his fat and happy tongue,
and saunters on.

Mary Oliver in New and Selected Poems: Vol.2


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