The flight of the Bumblebee

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have you ever noticed that each type of bee hums a different song? Yesterday, while photographing this bumblebee, I realized that the melody of its legs was playing alongside the unique tunes of a yellow jacket and a honey bee, who were also busy gathering nectar and pollen from the azalea blossoms.

The bumblebee, and the lore associated with its ability to defy gravity by using tiny wings to lift its over-large body, teaches us that anything is possible if we set our sights to achieve our dreams. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles are over-come if we allow doubt to disappear.

The bumblebee is also a curious and social insect. As I write this post, a bumblebee occasionally passes by the window, as if to check in on my progress. My daughter, when she was quite little, was fascinated with the soft form of the bumblebee, and would often hold them in her palm and gently pet them. Although bumblebees have the ability to sting (multiple times), they never stung my daughter, and unlike many of their relatives, are rarely bothered into aggressive action in the presence of humans. They’re bold, gentle giants in the family of bees.

All bees are important to the pollination of plants, reminding us how intricately we are woven with other organisms into the Web of Life. Perhaps now, more than ever in history, bees remind us of this important interdependency we share and how sacred  and vital the bees are for the preservation of life. Bees show us the value of working together to preserve the nectar of life for all — that we are all important contributors and to be aware that the greed, or poison, of a few can causes the demise of many. Bees are in a state of decline, their survival as a species threatened due to the poisons in the form of pesticides we use on our plants.  We have allowed the Web of Life to be stretched and torn, and whenever I see a bee, in any form, pollinating  the untainted flowers of in my yard, I feel immense gratitude and love for these small, but vital beings. They are each a survivor against great odds.

Bees have been revered for thousands of years, and are often found as symbols in ancient civilizations. The honeybee builds a comb in the shape of a hexagon, an important symbol in sacred geometry associated with the sun and the heart. Hexagons appear frequently in nature and in human-made forms as important building blocks of matter. The shape is found in our DNA, snowflakes and crystals, and is sometimes referred to as the “primal crystal of life.”