This Is Love

A faded illustration in earth tones of three beehives -- likely woven baskets, or skeps, positioned in a row on a slightly elevated wooden slab. Large bees are depicted crawling in and out of small rectangular entrances to the hives, and they also spread evenly across the area above the hives, filling the sky.

Episode 71: Telling the Bees

Episode #71

2023-08-09 05:00:39


For a long time, beekeepers have told bees their news. They’ve told their bees about weddings, and when people they know have died. It’s said that if they don’t, the bees will leave their hives, or stop making honey, or die.

Sometimes, like after Queen Elizabeth II died, beekeepers draped hives in black ribbon. Sometimes they’d shift their hives slightly to the right. “This movement would signal to the bees that the universe had changed, ever so slightly.”

Helen Jukes’ book is A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A Year of Keeping Bees, and Tammy Horn Potter’s is Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation.