It’s always good to have an ear open to the truth, no matter where it might come from. There are bigger voices speaking to us from all directions. From the animals, birds, wind and sometimes your seven year old.
We are in the summer run, keeping up with the plants, workshops, harvesting and preserving, catching swarms of bees, thinning fruit and of course (before this week) watering. We caught a swarm (one of our hives got too crowded, made a new queen to leave behind in the hive, and the old queen left with thousands to find a new home) right before heading down to the Heartwood Gathering, and then another the first afternoon of our gratitude soaked return.
We were snapped out of our post gathering high to try to catch her, she being our second best Queen who was flying off with ten thousand bee escorts. But everything was against us. First, we discovered that with all our recent swarms and divides we had no more full-size boxes or frames! We called a neighbour who has some old equipment, no answer. So, Megan scrambled and dumped a small hive that we suspected had a laying worker (a worker bee that takes on the duties of the queen but can only make male bees) so we could use that box and frames. The idea was the dumped hive would slowly return to their own hive and blend in with the new queen and workers of the swarm. The swarm finally landed. In a sixty foot high tree! Double the height of anything we had cut down before to catch a swarm. During this whole time our kids were just playing around doing their own thing, and as I walked past them, Oscar, our seven year old said, “Why don’t you just let that one go back to the wild, we already have seven”.
Well that stopped me dead in my tracks. You know sometimes the truth inside someone’s words rings out like a bell, cutting right through all the clutter. I knew he was right, and I said so, but then I also hollowly explained, that they wouldn’t survive in the wild (because of the mites) and we had already dumped the other hive and so we had to go through with the catching. After much prayer, I cut the Manitoba Maple down. But it was too high. The jolt set the queen flying again. And this time she landed in our one shade tree, up at the top, asking me, ‘how greedy are you?’ Ok, we get it, LET IT GO. And at that moment the hive flew off to their new hidden home in the forest. Let that fine queen teacher and her ten thousand workers be a good offering to the wild.