I am so bummed that my bee love affair has lost its fairy tale luster and all it took was a few moments of bad planning. After successfully feeding the bees twice by myself, I thought I knew how to do it. Time is of the essence when working with bees and I discovered that a 10 a.m. warm morning is not the same for bees as a 7:30 p.m. cool evening. I do not need to smoke the bees in the morning, but now I know for sure that I do in the evening!
Beekeeping lessons are marked with painful recognition. Somehow a bee got into my full body coveralls and hood, and another one stung me through the net. As the event unrolled, I tried to remain calm and heard myself say out loud, its okay , walk slowly away from the hive. Stay calm. Then the buzzing near my face, ears and head drown out my attempts at calm.
Fear, is a powerful response to override. Our most primal instinct for our own survival is much louder than my voice to keep calm. I have a whole new respect for people who are able to hold onto themselves in the face of their fears. Courage, is one of the highest forms of self love because you have to train in it. Maybe that is what I will learn from the bees. As sad as I feel about the hot, stinging, itching lump on my jaw line , I am equally sad for the bees that died because of my poor planning. I don’t want to be afraid of honey bees. At least I have compassion for the little bees who were lost.
Replacing a fear response with love is a deliberate practice. It’s how you build courage. On some level, you know you can sustain injury. I knew when I was making those beehives that I might get stung, but I hoped that loving them would prevent it.
Magical thinking, I know, but it makes it easier to move towards what frightens us. So now, with an ice pack on my face, I am little by little learning the magical power of courage.