"If we are to teach compassion for all life
in this world, and if we are to carry on
a real campaign against cruelty, and against
the destruction of our environment, we
have to begin with reaching children."
~ Betsy Seeton
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability
to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."
These photos are of female honeybees working on their hive.
GO DIRECTLY TO MY BEE PHOTOS
"Toward no crimes have men shown themselves
so cold- bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of belief."
James Russell Lowell
"It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize
each other, to learn about the other and honor him for what he is."
"If we cannot now end our differences,
at least we can help make the world safe for diversity."
John F. Kennedy
"We need to reach that happy stage of our development
when differences and diversity are not seen as sources
of division and distrust, but of strength and inspiration."
The hive entrance - March 4, 2011 - by Betsy Seeton
The quotes about differences and diversity that I've included throughout today's blog were inspired by something that happened yesterday.
I was at the park where a young girl about 11 or 12 years old was pointing and making a panicking "oooh" sound while stomping her feet and repeatedly yelling, "Kill it! Kill it!" Her grandfather tugged at his dog with the leash it was on and meandered over to see what she wanted killed.
I had to speak up. I had a feeling about what she wanted killed and sure enough when I asked her, she said, "A bee."
I began to explain how important bees are and that if she left the bee alone it was not going to attack or sting her. She said, "I know," in a snide tone claiming that she wasn't afraid, she simply didn't like bees!
My intervention, no doubt viewed as annoying by the young girl, at least saved the life of that particular bee. But I got thinking about how these lovely creatures are so misunderstood. It's exactly that attitude of "Kill it!" that I would love to change to an excited utterance of "Ohhh, wow! Look at that! I see a bee!" Or "I see a beetle!" or whatever it is, but be excited with wonder and curiosity, not hate nor condemnation and not the desire to destroy. A child's curiosity should be sparked, then lit on fire and nurtured so that all life is embraced and better understood.
The quotes herein refer to humans toward other humans, but I think the message applies to all life. The young girl at the park who wanted to kill a bee because she didn't like it is an example of what happens when we lack understanding and knowledge. The bee no doubt frightened her and her reaction was to kill. In my opinion, the world will be a safer and better place to live when more people expand their compassion and understanding to include all forms of life.
Sugar water on my finger - by B. Seeton
Since mid-February, I've been visiting a honeybee hive at a
park near where I live. Scroll to the next blog for all kinds of
bee related info and more pictures.
I spent a half an hour today watching the individual bees
forage beneath the tree where their hive is located and
introduced them to some sugar water I brought for
them. I've given it to them before but had little success
getting them interested in it. Today was different. The
mixture was heavier on sugar and I soaked my hand in
the sticky water so much that it was dripping with the
sweet solution. I enticed bee after bee off their stick or
piece of wood by letting drops roll down by their
tongues. In no time they liked what they tasted and
wanted more. I put a small puddle in the middle of my palm and showed a few bees where to
get more than just a small taste. They stood at the rim of the puddle and used their straw like
tongue to lap it up. Three to four bees at a time walked up and down my fingers looking for the
sweet stuff. It was extraordinary.
Bee hovering before landing - by Betsy Seeton
What was equally extraordinary was feeling
the air conditioning coming from the bees that
were hovering above my hand! I got to feel the
power of their "wing fanning" and now
completely understand how they use their
wings to reduce moisture in the hive and
adjust the temperature.
I've always wanted to learn a second language and even studied French for a short period, but had very little success. I don't have an ear for sound nor a good memory. Today I came away from the beehive feeling like I finally understand a foreign language -- honeybee. Sounds a bit silly, yet the mutual trust that I've experienced with these bees feels like the communication is two-way. It's pretty cool. READ HOW A BEE BECAME MY NEPALI INTERPRETER!
Today is March 14, 2011 and this is the first day I've seen this bright orange pollen (below) coming into the hive. Some new flower must be blooming.
This worker bee was exhausted! It takes a lot of extra energy for bees loaded down with pollen and nectar to fly back to the hive. During the height of the summer season, worker bees only live 5 to 6 weeks due to such strenuous work. In the fall, when the bees huddle together in the hive to stay warm and feed off the food reserves stored up, they last several months.
By Betsy Seeton
"If we are to teach compassion for all life in this world, and if we are to carry on a real campaign against cruelty, and against the destruction of our
environment, we have to begin with reaching children."
-- Betsy Seeton
One of the best places to nurture the kind of change our world needs, is involving, teaching, and inspiring children. FOR ALL THE ANIMALS offers paid positions for young children ages 8 to 18 who can research, investigate and write about animals and nature. We also want young artists, filmmakers and photographers to apply. Children 7 years old and younger can be our interns.
I imagine a better world when what people value has more to do with what they love doing than about what money can buy. Going after your passions and leading a life inspired by them is central to what drives my own life and is something I encourage others to experience.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller ~
"By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive.
Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and
accept as something precious what comes back to you from them."
~ Albert Schweitzer
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."