It seems as if the bees read my previous blog entry and have
gathered at my command in an outside log store (perhaps I should call them
A few days ago I began to repair the old log store door (as
it is falling apart). A small gang of outraged bumblebees suddenly surrounded
‘Leave... uzz... bee’ the
bees seemed to say.
I realised that there had to be a nest somewhere in the dry
logs and retreated (getting stung by a queen bumblebee as a child does not give
you special bee privileges). After a bit of research I found out that the queen bee must
have chosen the log store as a nesting site and I read up on the falling bee
population in this country.
It was soon decided that the best thing to do would be to let
the bees be. Smoking them out or having them destroyed would not be very bee-nevolent. Lousy puns aside – the research also brought up some
interesting folklore and superstitions regarding bees. I was delighted to learn
that the ancient Greeks thought that a bee which landed on a baby meant that
the child would become a great poet. Unfortunately, they didn’t say what happened
when the bee stung the child (maybe that child just thought he was a great
There are many other superstitions regarding bees and most
of them are positive. You know how it is with folklore and superstitions –
almost everything that happens or everything you do means you are going to die
imminently. If you accept some positive superstition do you have to accept all of
the negative ones?
Borrowing from Greek mythology there is also a legend that a
swarm of bees settled on St Ambrose soon after he was born, leaving
behind a drop of honey. His parents considered this to be an omen of a honey-tongued
future. And so it was.
No sting for Ambrose either. There are a plethora of other superstitions about bees, but few
people bee-lieve them nowadays. (Sorry.)
So the bees are guests here for the summer. Later in the
year they will have gone. The newly born bees will have flown away and the only
existing survivor will be the queen bee who will fly away and hibernate in the
soil somewhere. Queens have a habit of outliving the rest of us.