Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas


     It's a cool Christmas Eve in Vancouver with the possibility of snow through the night and a white Christmas. The bees are snuggled in their hives waiting for Santa.  Penny, from the Natural Beekeeping Trust of the United Kingdom says "Traditionally, Christian beekeepers have visited their colonies at midnight on Christmas Eve to tell the bees of the nativity.  They also hoped to hear the special melodious humming that the bees were said to perform at this time, portending health and prosperity throughout the coming year.  It was thought that this custom was predated by an earlier pre-Christian one when the return of the sun was by no means guaranteed!"
     If you're wondering what to recite to your bees on Christmas Eve here is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy.

Silently on Christmas Eve,
the turn of midnight's key;
all the garden locked in ice -
a silver frieze -
except the winter cluster of the bees.

Flightless now and shivering,
around their Queen they cling;
every bee a gift of heat;
she will not freeze
within the winter cluster of the bees.

Bring me for my Christmas gift
a single golden jar;
let me taste the sweetness there,
but honey leave
to feed the winter cluster of the bees.

Come with me on Christmas Eve
to see the silent hive -
trembling stars cloistered above -
and then believe,
bless the winter cluster of the bees.

    
      At this time of year I'm especially appreciative that I have a roof over my head and food in my belly when so many in the world have neither.  Giving gifts to those in need who are not as fortunate as I seems like a good idea at Christmas and for that matter throughout the year.  Here are a few Christmas gift ideas for less fortunate beekeepers in the world. 

    I hope that you, your bees and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.  Peace on earth and good will to all.




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