Bees and Raptors
a kate west reflection
Bees are the next apocalyptic symbol it seems. When they go, we go, according to everyone from Al Gore to Bill Maher. A source of the only food which never goes bad, bees make precious honey - still good after twenty years when stored properly, or so I hear. And can cure almost any ailment, in my humble opinion. Something about cell phones stresses them out. Already sensitive to environmental disturbances, queens and workers won't return to their hives when cell phones abound. There have been any number of causes throughout the eras; this is just the one we are most directly responsible for. That and horrible new pesticides. Oops.
Obviously it's terribly important for pollination to occur on a regular basis so flowers can reproduce and animals get to keep eating. Bees are nice and even kind of cool. That is, they don't sting unless provoked, and after that, they die. Unlike nasty old wasps, which can sting you repeatedly, and are less cute and furry. So leave them alone already. By the way, a good spiritual read, if you're in the mood, is Sue Monk Kidd's excellent "The Secret Life of Bees" (see below).
6o Minutes spot here:
Speaking of cool, falconry is one of the oldest hunting sports there is. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has repeatedly touted falconry as a noble pursuit, one that ultimately allows you to commune with nature, and to finally understand true synergy with the environment. You will learn respect for your bird, or raptor, as they call them, and the bird will respect you and decide to fly back to you each time. Or not. It's really up to him/her. Fascinating. It takes years to train a falcon and to trust that each of you has each other's best interest at heart. Combine that with archery and you may just get yourself knighted.
You can actually try it (next time you're in Ireland, that is) : http://www.ashford.ie/index.html OR http://www.newgrangefalconry.com
Beekeeping for Dummies
The Encyclopedia of Falconry
The Secret Life of Bees
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