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  1. #1

    Post

    A beekeeper I have never actually met, passed away from cancer. I recieved the hive from the family to take care of, hopefully to give back to him if he recovered. He did not. I went out to the hive and placed his veil and smoker on top. I knocked gently on the hive and whispered to the bees, your owner has passed away. I told them that I was going to take care of them now.
    R.I.P Mr. Kovacks
    http://www.acmepainting.com/passed.jpg

    [size="1"][ December 11, 2005, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: newbee 101 ][/size]
    "To bee or not to bee"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    Well done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    949

    Post

    Nice tribute.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    Newbie, I had a weird experience years ago. A guy who asked me to put a couple hives at his place had cancer. He would sit by one of them for hours daily and just watch them come and go. When he passed away, I went to pick them up. His wife apologized and said he took his favorite hive with him. Sure enough, the hive, which had been VERY strong, was totally void of bees. Thie was in late spring, before the mites came. There was no reason for that hive to die. No earthly reason, anyway.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    57

    Post

    Very touching newbee. I'm sure Mr Kovacks would be moved too.
    To everything there is a season ....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    recently I was given a book titled 'the voice of the infinite in the small' as a birthday present. the chapter on honeybees describes a ceremony in regards to the passing of the beekeeper much like you have described. it also describes an instance in which the bees appeared to accompany the hearst to the grave site of the beekeeper.

    anyway, just curious as to where you acquired this idea of 'telling the bees'?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    I love the tradition of telling the bees. Although my bees' previous owner is alive and well (thank God), when he retired and I took over their care, I made sure to "tell the bees" what was going on. They're the best bees I've ever had.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    It was a lovely thing to do, and one that we would all want for ourselves. Happy Yule (or whatever holiday applies)

  9. #9

    Post

    I have read multiple stories and traditions
    associated with beekeepers and death. Not exactly sure where. I will have to dig out the books.
    "To bee or not to bee"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I'm researching for an article on this subject. It was written of in all of Europe as early as 1600s. I have one reference going back to ancient Rome. You'll see it in Bee Culture one day. Bees play a big part in the mythology of all cultures.

    Dickm

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    TideWater Virginia
    Posts
    48

    Post

    That really was a nice tribute. It struck home because I joined a local bee club earlier in the year (this being my first year to tend bees) and already two members have passed away. I think of all the knowledge and stories that vanishes with them and how few young people are taking up the veil and smoker in turn. Sad, really.
    <a href=\"http://marcusgriffin.com\" target=\"_blank\">http://marcusgriffin.com</a><br /><br />Be like water, my friend.<br />Bruce Lee

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Oceano, California, USA
    Posts
    467

    Post

    Excellent work, newbee.

  13. #13

    Post

    Thanks for all the replys. I am going to send this link to his daughter so she can read them.
    "To bee or not to bee"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    Good work.

    Peter Donovan told me that when Brother Adam died, he and Bro. Daniel went round all the Buckfast apiaries and told the bees that their master had gone.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  15. #15

    Post

    The best-selling novel "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd includes some lovely prose about telling the bees of a death..

    "The Shamanic Way of the Bee" by Simon Buxton is excellent also - but warning - it is really wild stuff!

    Newbee101, you did a beautiful thing.

    Marcus Griffin, you said a beautiful thing... " I think of all the knowledge and stories that vanishes with them and how few young people are taking up the veil and smoker in turn. "

    My ex-husband used to offend me greatly by saying, "Why do you wanna hang out with all those boring old people who keep bees?" IMHO, those people are a national treasure. And, we better get the kids off the couch, off the computer games, to don the veil.

    Never forget that one out of three mouthfuls of food we eat in America is directly attibutable to honeybee pollination.
    I (heart) Honeybees

  16. #16

    Post

    Newbie, Bravo, you brought tears to my eyes. What a meaningful act of kindness. Thank you for sharing, Donna

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    165

    Post

    Newbie, Very nice. That hive will always be a special one.

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