“I’m not going out there with that bee flying around.” Isley was quite adamant.
“What bee?” from a concerned adult.
“The one flying around our tree near the playground.”
Context is everything. When someone says “bee”, I think of a single flying insect.
This wasn’t one bee–it was a swarm. Our oldest and her family had become hosts to a huge swarm of bees. Deep within the branches of the tree in their yard were clumped more bees than I’ve ever seen before,
When the kids told me about it, I was more than a little surprised. There are no known bee hives around our area. We have beekeepers in various parts of East Orlando, but they were quite a long way from us. Where they came from and why they settled there was a mystery.
Several ideas were expressed on how to deal with them. Chop the tree down. Call someone in to remove them. Have pest control come and kill them. Every possibility was extreme–and carried with it some definite possibilities of getting stung.
My dear husband did some quick research. Bees swarm because they’re cramped for space. When too many bees are trying to exist and work in one hive, the old queen takes a bunch of her workers before new queens are born and fly to a new location to set up a new hive. Then there are two hives, which is helpful for reproduction. The more bees, the more consistent pollination of surrounding plants and the production of honey.
When they leave their old hive, they find a resting place while scout bees locate a large hollow tree or any other space with a big enough hollow. Once located, the scouts return and lead the rest of the bees to their new home. A bee exodus.
If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. They’ve got more on their minds than us.
The swarm in the back yard was gone in two days. Relocated.
We can learn a lot from the bees.
How do I respond to unfamiliar situations with groups of people I don’t know? People from different cultures, speaking different languages, just wanting to find a home that works for them. Wanting to live with meaning and purpose–a heartfelt need for all people because we’re created that way.
We all want to find a place where we can live with kindness and courage and be productive in the ways we’ve been taught with skill sets that are ours. We want what we do to matter, to know we make a difference.
If we’re given the chance to be embraced for who we are and live fruitful lives, it would benefit everyone. God made us with unique gifts and talents to work together, to encourage one another, no matter our backgrounds, our language, our color. God says we all matter. We need to treat one another with deference.
And quite possibly we’ll all be better for it.
After all, the only difference between us and the bees is we can choose not to use our stingers.