We Crave a Different Kind of Buzz

Here we are just past the winter solstice, with each day now slightly longer than the previous, and I am thinking about  bee time. There are many types of time, and bee time is perhaps slower than most. So my decision in September to pursue the art of beekeeping did not result in any immediate change. Bee time does not allow for this.

With bee time, life moves with the year. In Virginia, this means fall preparations for the cold, clustering of the hive in winter, foraging in the spring, followed by the dearth of summer. A mistake can take a year to undo or correct, and new ideas must wait for the proper season.

So I wait. In her book The Signature of All Things, author Elizabeth Gilbert has her main character Alma study moss. The character Alma thinks of moss time as moving in decades, with the slow growth of the moss barely noticeable year to year. The faster paced human time is more instantaneous. We are always moving, changing, revealing new aspects of our surroundings and character. Alma places moss time between geological time, which moves in centuries or perhaps millennia, and the regular flow of human time.

So I am thinking of bee time, faster than moss time but slower than I am used to. The days will grow longer and the chance to own bees will arrive in the spring.  I received a catalog I ordered today from the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm in Pennsylvania, and I paged through the catalog full of bee equipment I do not yet own. It is all part of living in bee time.

The line “We crave a different kind of buzz” is from the 2013 song Royals by New Zealand singer and songwriter Lorde. The song also includes the lines “You can call me queen bee / And baby I’ll rule…. / Let me live that fantasy.”  I heard it on the radio earlier today and thought it was a good choice for the season as well as this post. Happy Holidays!

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6 thoughts on “We Crave a Different Kind of Buzz

  1. Part of my regular routine last winter was to press my ear against the hive box and listen for the humming assurance that they were still alive and well. For some reason that I still don’t understand, that sound stopped in February. We’ll try again this year. Meanwhile, we’re on bee time too.

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    • So sorry you lost the bees, Bill. I read recently of someone using a stethoscope for the same purpose, I’ll have to think about this next winter. I’m starting bee school on January 22, so bees are coming!

      Hang in there!

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  2. In nature things happen in time rather than on demand, and I like that. I’m always reminded in bee time of how incremental changes affect life inside the hive: a few seconds more daylight, a slight raise in degrees, a day longer of rain. Bee time makes me so much more aware of the whispers and movements in the world around me. Thanks for writing this post and making me think of that on a Monday morning rather than the end of the holidays and start back to work.

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