Friday, September 23, 2011

The Industrious Honey Bee

The other day I was hosing off the screened porch in preparation for the arrival of close to 100 guests who were coming for a BBQ. I was just finishing up when I felt the first intense sting on the front of my thigh. Within seconds, I felt another sharp sting on the back of my leg. It was then that I noticed the bees that were inside the screen of the porch. I figured they had gotten in through the door when I left it open for the water to drain.

The next afternoon when I was sitting at the drafting table upstairs hammering out one of the drafts of the skeleton copy of my thesis, I was struck by all the insects flying past the window. The sun caught their arc as they flew by and I was mesmerized by this display. It suddenly dawned on me that there was an incredible number of insects that all looked the same, so I headed downstairs and out the door. I thought they were the dreaded Japanese beetle that had been eating up all the green leaves in my garden. Well, maybe not all, but certainly more than their share. My fear was that they had descended upon the new Pagoda Dogwood, Cornus alternifolia. That was the last straw, so I headed out to the back of the house thinking I would hose them off and keep a vigilante watch to discourage their devouring the tree.

When I got outside , I realized that it wasn't beetles I was seeing but honey bees. And they had a taken up residence in a niche under the floor of the porch. How could I be upset that the honey bees chose my house for their hive. The painters next spring might have a problem with it, but I felt blessed that these industrious workers have found shelter in my garden. Everyday, as my focus and determination flag, I notice the bees flying up and out, then back down and in, as they carry on their mission. They do what they do and it is all part of the process.

More importantly, they remind me to keep working through this incredibly difficult task of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together into one sane and sensible, and hopefully, enlightening, document. It holds the key to my graduation and also for my realizing a long-held and hard-fought-for dream.