In Praise of Honey Bees by Shepherd Bliss


Image by Joy 蝴蝶 via Flickr

by Shepherd Bliss
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Sebastopol, California
August 2, 2019

I attended a honeybee gathering recently at a wild place in rural Sebastopol. During my nearly 30 years of organic farming here, I have usually had honeybee hives on my farm. The berries need their pollination.

We two-footeds can learn much from the winged honeybees, especially during this time of international crises. Such bees can help us at this time, which some describe as possibly the final days for humanity, as we move toward a possible exchange of nuclear weapons and the mounting climate crisis. Fortunately, people in Peru, Scotland, India, and elsewhere honor and pay tribute to honey bees.

“Bees are our family members,” one person at the gathering said. “We honor and pay tribute to this ancient ally of humans. They know the way,” bee whisperer host Michael said. “Honeybees call us to awareness. If you are angry or aggressive, the bees feel it.” “How can we transform our anger?” Gary Pace, M.D. asked.

“Tiny they may be, but powerful,” another person added. “Be good, be kind.” Janus Matthes added that “bees work communally for the greater good.” We could benefit from honeybee wisdom at this difficult time in human history.

I have never been stung by a honeybee, though I have often been stung by yellow jackets—big difference. While I work on the berry vines, honey bees often land on nearby vines without touching me or getting in the way.

“This time of growing crises is a time to get over our separation. We belong with other beings,” one person said. “This inspiring being calls us to awareness.”

I cannot imagine a world without bees, birds, and butterflies. May they continue, even as we two-footed humans damage this one wild, precious, and beautiful planet.

Dr. Shepherd Bliss ( is a retired college teacher. He has contributed to 24 books and owns Kokopelli Farm.

[DS added the video.]

Bees Tribute

bees wiv charactr on Oct 31, 2016

A little Samhain tribute to all of this year’s bees. I will miss them now they’re gone.

Thanks to The Amity Affliction (I Bring the Weather With Me) for the music.

From the archives:

To Survive: We Need A Global Awakening Much Bigger Than A “Revolution,” Much Deeper Than Just Ending Capitalism by Eric Schechter

Capitalism on Mars by Lowell Flanders

Dennis van Engelsdorp: Why Are the Bees Dying?

Killing Bees: Are Government and Industry Responsible? + Hope for bees — 48 hours to act!

Dennis vanEngelsdorp: Where have the bees gone?