Bee Sweet

I was excited when I discovered a SJS teacher helps with the family bee farm, and even more excited when, upon reading into the honeybee, I saw the abundance of Marian analogies. “My son, eat honey for it is good” (Proverbs 24:13).

Abbe Warré, a bee-keeping monk from the early 20th Century, wrote a manual titled, Beekeeping for All. In it he writes, “the overall ruler of the colony is the common interest.” Well, fundamental to the common interest is the presence and health of the queen. Without the queen, worker bees become agitated, work less, and lose their purpose, flying aimlessly. The hive population diminishes and the colony eventually dies. The Church and the world would experience similar consequences without Mary.

When the hive is functioning properly, thanks to the queen, worker bees depart early in the morning in search of nectar and pollen. The bee parts the petals of the flower and absorbs the droplet of nectar. Upon returning to the hive, the bee processes and regurgitates the nectar, producing honey. Without the action of the honeybee, the flower's nectar would remain hidden and eventually dry up in the noonday sun. The Blessed Mother, like the bee making use of the nectar, takes the goodness within us and converts it into something sweet. Our "sweetness" sanctifies society through the material we provide Mary.

Warré invented what he called "The People's Hive." The type of hive requires the least amount of attention from the beekeeper, as the bees are left alone to do their work. In the spiritual life we do not need to be constantly aware of Mary's action. We can trust she is at work. And when the Father, the ultimate beekeeper, checks his hive, he will find an abundance of honey.

back to top