To Bee or not to Bee


As an ordained minister, today is my first day of being congregation-less.  I resigned 4 months ago and my last day as a pastor of my flock was yesterday.  It was emotional.  A celebration and a sadness all at once.

Not surprisingly, my bee life mirrors my real life at the moment.  I went out to check my beehives a few days before my final day as a pastor.  It appeared that all three of my colonies were queenless.  It not only triggered my own mourning about leaving my people, but it also shook me to the foundation of what I thought my foreseeable future vocation would be—-tending and writing about bees.

Not that I ever really saw myself as the “queenbee” of my congregation….though at times it was fodder for a good joke at church… but it did seem ironic that at the moment that I was ready to leave my “hive”, I was facing a queenless future as a beekeeper.  If you know the craft of beekeeping, this is a death knell for that hive (check out my earlier post about queenright hives”)

Did you ever notice that when one area of your life is in transition or falling apart, other areas pop up also?  As an old Amishman used to say—-sometimes bad days come in bunches like bananas.

Here’s what I wrote the day it all hit me …

Only 5 more days and I will be no more at Albuquerque Mennonite Church.

A weird liminal space.  I feel tense, angry and sad inside.  I check my hives today and realize that none of my hives have a fully mated queen…perhaps a symbol of the lack of fertility and vitality that I feel in my life at the moment.  A winding down.  An ending. On the cusp of something new.  The old is dying or going away—what will be, has not yet come.

I want to freak out….for myself, for my hives.  I need new queens right now.  My girls are not happy. They are angry and anxious without a queen to keep them “queenright” in their home.  My neck and hands are swollen with multiple stings as queenless bees are much less patient with human meddling when they don’t have mama around.

I know that at least two of the hives have reared and birthed their own queen and if all goes accordingly, she will return as soon as she is fully mated (which takes a little sidetrip from the hive to visit the male drone congregational site—always an iffy proposition, with danger lurking as she makes her way from the safety net of the hive)

Nature has her own mysterious timing.

It’s like the soul.  It cannot be forced. I must be patient with all that is happening in my own soul, even as I await my queens.


6 thoughts on “To Bee or not to Bee

  1. Greetings or in bee communication zzzzzzzzz,
    Bees are clearly more important to the functioning of the planet than humans.
    We need them more than they need us. Yet, we make choices and that is
    our double edged sword. In evolution we see the creator and the plan. The
    gift, the experiment, the love and the dense interconnectedness of all life.
    Pollination and pollinators are a design of the heart, mind and spirit of creation
    The beauty of it all is overwhelming and I am sure that is part of your search for new meaning and purpose. Eric Fromm stated ” Necrophilia grows as the
    development of biophilia is stunted”. You have chosen and know that
    all life matters.

    May your new path bring you health and happiness and may the earth
    reciprocate your love.


  2. Anita, this post is beautiful; the words, mood, and photos. Congratulations on entering the liminal space of the soul where your beauty shines – even as things are dying in and around you.


  3. Ah, Anita, I’m also in a transitional space…lots of learning and preparing for something I can’t see yet, that’s still coming to birth…. It’s both scary and beautiful. Blessings on your own journey….



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