Part One: Being
While bees induced fear in the old world, in the new world, bees encourage being.
The origin of this postulate is a dream I had in 1992:
I'm walking to work on another dull, frustrating day. I think, "I wish something would happen. Please, just give me a sign. Some kind of sign." A bee starts flying around my head. I swat at it with a newspaper. "That's not a sign. It's just a bee. It's just a bee...Oh! Just bee! Just be!"
In 1998, a few weeks before I set out on what would be a life-changing spiritual odyssey, I dreamed a swarm of enormous killer bees was coming to America. Just being was going to kill off my old ways of doing.
At the start of the odyssey, I was walking in a park. I paused at a fork in my path, unsure of which way to go. A bee circled me twice and continued on the path to the right. Recalling the "Just bee!" dream from six years before, I followed the bee. It led me to a perch with a view of the Golden Gate, high above the mouth of the bay. Taking a seat -- and being at the brink of giving up everything I had to search for spiritual wealth -- I took out my journal and jotted:
Bees don't make money.
They make honey.
The encircling bee was a guidepost to a new way of being, in which being supports doing, instead of doing blotting out being. Even as the bee was buzzing circles round me, I intuited it as a Heaven-sent invitation to leave behind the old world for a new one -- one in which the divine intelligence behind the natural world is conveyed through metaphor. My encounter with the bee set the base-tone for the rest of my odyssey, and all my life since.
Human beings are the only creature known to choose to stop doing in order to focus on being, which is what we do when we meditate. It is what we are doing when we "take a time-out." When we need to "take a time-out" we have done too much, so much that feeling is imbalanced. Just being grounds feeling, returning balance to doing.
Being, doing, feeling, knowing and belonging function harmoniously. They are a flower with five petals awaiting the pollen of experience. The harvest of being is sweetness: honey. The harvest of doing is the fruit of labor.
Being is consistently illustrated in the actions of bees in waking-life. Here are three macro examples:
1) Colony collapse disorder is a metaphorical reflection of humanity's need for more being -- less doing -- more feeling, knowing and belonging.
2) Being can sting. The "just being" of withdrawal from dependency "stings." Addiction -- whether to a drug, a person, a value, et al -- aggravates being like someone trying to steal honey from the hive aggravates bees to sting.
3) When we die our spirits return to the universe's fundamental frequency of being. We are still ourselves after we die, but without bodies. We become being so pure that to the "living" it appears we have been lost to non-being. Not so. In death we return to harmony with OM, and from OM we are reborn, as this 1998 dream posits:
The universe has a vibration that its fractured unity can always return to. Every form owes itself to its parents who left behind the unity of the vibration
OM represents the unity of the universal vibration of being. OM sounds with the resonance of a great swarm of bees.
The metaphorical aspect of bees resounded after last Spring's loss of Air France Flight 447, when a day later this news story came from Massachusetts:
DANVERS, Mass. (AP) -- Maybe these bees were too tired to fly for themselves. A gang of honeybees landed on the wing of a plane used for flight school training at Beverly Airport. At first, the 10,000 or so bees swarmed over the left side of the aircraft, then landed on top of the left wing. The owner of the flight center called police, who said to call local bee removal expert Al Wilkins.
Wilkins used a specially designed vacuum to suck the bees off the plane, and then relocated them to hives where they will produce honey.
Wilkins guessed that the queen may have stopped to rest on the plane, and the other bees congregated around to protect her.
The gathering of bees did not precede the tragedy, but came after, like a comment, a remark from a teacher. For me, the bee-teaching signified that Fight 447's passengers and crew had passed into ultimate being.
The flight of the soul from the body is great ecstasy,
leaving great mourning with those still embodied. Perhaps through the emotional
neutrality of the bees beeing on the wing, the ecstasy of the disembodied souls
& the mourning of the still-embodied were harmonized.
Part Two: The Feminine
My world-mate, Coyote Marie, gives this account:
"My oldest friend Katrina was living in the garret of her aunt's Victorian house, where she painted huge mythological/pornographic paintings. The A-frame roof of the house had a side window with a bench seat, where I was sitting one day smoking while Katrina was in the shower. A few feet away was her altar, where she'd recently performed a spell to get over her recent breakup. The spell involved burning the dried roses her ex had given her. Next to the altar was her new painting cart, which she'd found on the side of the road during one of her last outings with this ex.
"After a while, I noticed that this bee kept coming in the window. He flew in the window, carrying a piece of flower petal - not a whole petal, but a piece he'd cut out. He carried the piece over to the painting cart, and went down into a dowel-hole that was just wide enough for a bee. Then he would fly out, and in a few moments buzz back in again with a new petal-piece to deposit in the hole in the cart. I watched this for a long time, and then when Katrina got out of the shower I showed her and we both watched.
"Some days later, after disposing of the burnt roses, Katrina suddenly remembered about the bee and the petals and went into the dowel-hole with some tweezers, only to extract a perfect miniature replica of a rose which the bee had sculpted inside the dowel-hole out of those cut-out pieces of petal."
If the bee had a voice, it would say, "Katrina, there is no need to rely on witchcraft to salve your wounded heart. For, the heart is a rose that will self-regenerate if it is allowed to. Trying to burn away painful feelings only leaves the heart cold. Let your heart just bee. Without being, there is no feeling; and without feeling, there can be no healing.
"Finding the painting cart just before your breakup was not coincidental. I have reconstructed a symbol of your heart in a hole in your painting cart to show you that it will be healing for you to hole up with your colors and paint through the winter of your heart.
"The rose is a symbol of Mary, of the divine feminine, whom neither witchcraft nor patriarchy may touch. The way to the divine feminine is through being. Through just being, the divine feminine will reconstruct your heart in its image, just as I have reconstructed the rose you meant to destroy.
"Joseph Henderson's Thresholds of Initiation relates a dream in which a woman was symbolically burning off the past, but safe from the fire was a key in the form of a beehive that would unlock anything. The beehive represents the feminine collective.
"The feminine collective, with its command of the powers of observation and intuition, is a locksmith of the spiritual. As such, all bees have wings and build hives off the ground. This is in contrast to their ant cousins, which are generally wingless and dwell underground. Bees are to woman & being & spirit as ants are to man & doing & matter. Both creatures share humanity's instinct toward order. They also share a common ancestor, in the wasp.
"The link between the feminine & beeing & spirit is as primal as insect consciousness, and informed the mythos of ancient civilizations the world over. For example, Melissa was a nymph who introduced honey to humanity. The priestesses of Artemis and Demeter dressed as bees, and were called ‘Bees.' 
"Before Amy George knew any of these facts about bees and ants, bee goddesses, and priestess bees, she wrote this story, called ‘The Dew Bee,' which links ancient and contemporary consciousness to the immortal spirit that informs them both:
Thousands of years ago the earth became very cold. The polar icecaps grew until ice covered most of the Earth. This was the Ice Age. During the Ice Age most of the animals moved to warmer climates, nearer the equator, but a few of them didn't follow the warm weather and adapted to the cold.
For example, the woolly mammoth was a type of elephant that grew a thick coat of hair to protect it from the cold. Another creature the Ice Age changed was a certain, giant queen bee. She was the size of a housecat. It was not unusual that she was so big because prehistoric animals were often small or large compared to modern animals.
During a horrible winter at the dawn of the Ice Age, fierce winds were beating against the queen's hive. All the worker bees were frightened and left the hive, and their queen, to fly south, but the queen stayed because she had made lots of eggs that she had keep warm through the long winter. In the spring baby bees would emerge from the eggs.
Another reason the queen had no interest in leaving the hive was because she had never been outside of it. She was born there and had never had a reason to venture out. It was the only place she had ever known.
Powerful winds blew the hive to the ground where snow and ice covered it over. The queen went to sleep underneath the snow, inside the hive, and stayed asleep for 10,000 years.
Finally, the Earth began to warm up and the ice started melting. The animals that had left for warm climates 10,000 years before returned. It was comfortable and warm, but it was so muddy.
The snow melted away from the queen's hive and it warmed up, but she didn't. She was in a deep, deep sleep. An army of ants came and ate her hive because it was full of tasty honey. They didn't realize that they were also eating the queen's eggs.
The ants left the queen alone, sleeping peacefully on the ground, and they built an ant hill right beside her. It was a good spot because the queen's body kept the ant hill warm.
The queen slept through the whole summer and another winter. When spring came again the sun was warmer than the year before. The queen began to stir a bit. She opened her eyes and was very groggy. She had slept 10,001 years!
Grass was growing all around her, as well as flowers, bushes, trees and plants of all kinds. One morning, she woke up. "Oh, my!" she exclaimed, "This is amazing! It's incredible! Where am I? Have I died and gone to Heaven?"
The ants said, "You are beside our home."
"What happened to my home?" she asked them.
"Uh...uh...We don't know," they answered.
"My goodness. Well, look at this place. It's beautiful," she said, sitting up on her hind end, admiring everything. She saw the dew on the grass and said, "Oh, oh, oh, I am so thirsty!" and proceeded to lick the dew right off the grass and drink it down.
"Oh, my," she said to herself, "This is wonderful."
"Isn't it?" the ants remarked.
"Yes...and who are you?" she asked them.
"We are ants," they said, "Who are you?"
"Um...I was a giant queen bee, but I am not sure who I am anymore."
The queen of the ants, who had been secretly watching the giant queen bee, came forward, out of the anthill, and said to her, "You are a very special bee because you have no hive and you drink dew. You are the Dew Bee."
"Yes! Yes! I am the Dew Bee!" the queen shouted. With this proclamation she was so ecstatic that she flew into the air, crying tears of joy. Her tears fell to the earth and nourished the plants and creatures below.
"But, no. Oh, no. Wait," the Dew Bee said suddenly, looking all around, "What has happened to my eggs?"
The ants pretended not to notice the queen's dismay. "Do you know what happened to my eggs?" she asked the ants.
"We don't know," the ants said, looking down, feeling ashamed. The Dew Bee wept for a long time that her babies were gone. Her tears fell onto to the Earth and nourished it.
The Dew Bee cried herself to sleep and woke up in a few days. When she saw the Earth all around her, she did not think of her lost eggs. Everything was so beautiful and so vast.
She went on an expedition, flying around the earth examining everything. Sometimes, the Earth was so beautiful to her that she cried. Her tears made plants grow strong, flowers bright and water clear and clean.
The Dew Bee still lives, today, but she is almost never seen by people. People are the only creatures in the world that she is afraid of, so she stays a good distance from them. However, people are very interesting to her and she sometimes watches them when they are not looking.
When the Dew Bee sees a person lose their hat in the wind, she chases it down and puts it on, repeating an expression she has heard people say: "Finders, keepers."
The Dew Bee's head is so big that the hats made for human heads fit her nicely. She stores her collection of hats in a cave on an island in the Pacific Ocean which no sailor or satellite has ever seen because it's so small and remote.
Although you might never see the Dew Bee, you can guess where she might be because she is often drinking dew at sunrise. Then, at sunset she flies high in the colored clouds. Water from the clouds sticks to her body and she licks it off and drinks it down. After she drinks this water she cries colored tears.
She sometimes wonders if she'll let people see her, but she is afraid that they might want to put her in a zoo or on a television nature program. She is content roaming free and giving life to the world anonymously. [fin]
For the discussion forum, I would like to encourage posts of any true stories readers may have about bees. Thank you!
 link to The Bee Goddess, offering a rich, beautifully illustrated history of the divine feminine and the bee.
Image by kaibara87, courtesy of Creative Commons license.Tweet