Dr. Weeks’ Comment: At the AAS 20th Anniversary conference in NYC this past weekend, I was happy to greet many old friends from years gone by. One, Ross Conrad had morphed from DJ to beekeeper and his book on Organic Beekeeping, excerpted below, was wonderful to read. I wanted to share a particularly inspiring passage from the introduction.
“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors,
but because she labors for others”
-Saint John Chrysostom
From Ross Conrad’s book: Natural Beekeeping Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture
We can learn much from the honey bee. Of all the insects, the honey bee seems to lend itself most perfectly to anthropomorphism. For example, the relationship between the bee and the plant kingdom is a powerful and intricate orchestration of interdependance and cooperation. To live its day-to-day life, the bee need only collect nectar and pollen from the flowers in bloom. These gifts from the plant kingdom, along with some water, plant resins that the bees use to make propolis, fresh air and sunshine, are all the bees need from the world around them to survive and prosper within their colony. Thus, unless it feels threatened and is forced to defend itself or its hive, the bee is the only creature in the animal kingdom, that I am aware of, that does not kill or injury any other being as it goes through its regular life cycle. Apis mellifera damages not so much as a leaf. In fact, honey bees take what they need in such a way that the world around them is improved. By pollinating blossoms during nectar- and pollen foraging activities, the honey bee contributes directly to the abundance found on earth. This industrious little creature even transforms the nectar it collects from sugar water into deliciously sweet and health-promoting honey.
Conrad, Ross P4 Natural Beekeeping Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture
Chelsea Green Pub. 2007 White River Junction VT