1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Two Books in One---Double the Fun & Bee a Beekeeper!,
This review is from: Meditation and The Art of Bee Keeping: The Way to Bee (Mindfulness) (Hardcover)
The Way to Bee
Meditation and the Art of Beekeeping
By Mark Magill
It's once again spring (finally) and time for my May bee book review. I found this book at the MOSES Organic Farmer's Conference and it was a really refreshing read. Not only do you walk through the four seasons of beekeeping, but learn some useful meditative lessons along the way. And the author gets pretty personal too, which really drove the writing forward as it gave a window into author Magill's fascination with beekeeping. Through this art; he found himself. There also are many bee-factoids which I found fascinating.
"A queen can lay between 175,000 and 200,000 eggs a year. As such she is the sole mother for many hundreds of thousands of bees over her lifetime. The queen's other important role is to produce the pheromones that govern and organize many of the colony's functions."
Though I am admittedly not presently practicing meditation, I would imagine it to be a really useful tool since you need to be calm and centered whenever working with your bees. Magill shares two reasons many of us find it nearly impossible to do.
"The two main obstacles to actual concentrated meditation are a sinking and wandering mind...sinking mind in the gross sense means falling asleep. Wandering mind is characterized by excitable thoughts that chase after one another like wild monkeys."
As we're moved season to season, Magill shares the current reality of how beekeeping has dramatically changed. Now, over-wintering bees is more like a mad roll of the dice in that you're certain to lose at least half of your hives, if not all of them. Colony Collapse Disorder is something the author (as well as I) grapples with each and every spring as he lifts the covers off his hives only to find them either empty or simply silent. Yet he finds the energy to replace them year after year. One reason is the honey.
"Consider that each drop of honey represents about 80 drops of nectar. Once the watery nectar is deposited in the honeycomb cells, the bees have to evaporate nearly all of the moisture before it becomes honey. A strong working hive can contain close to 200 pounds of honey. Even a teaspoonful represents thousands upon thousands of flights of foraging bees. One calculation has it that 1 pound of honey represents visits to 2 million flowers."
One aspect of this narrative I found to have slowed the pace was the use of `windows' placed willy-nilly throughout, within them were various quotes and verses, many of which added little to the overall themes.
As Magill moves from winter into spring, his life unfolds into something new again. He learns to let go, to be more present and to embrace change not as something tangible, but a thing to step into. Like standing in a creek and enjoying the flow of cool water as it passes over your feet.
"There are a lot of reasons to meditate. There are a number of reasons why one would want to keep bees. Whatever the reasons, one can ask a few simple questions about the results...but asking the questions is essential."
I encourage you to keep bees, we need more beekeepers and this book will present you not only with a simple guide, but also a roadmap to something even more incredible--