Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Secret Knowledge of Bees

“The old wisdom of the bees” – “the secret knowledge of the bees”, “ask the wild bee for what the druids knew” are frequent phrases of Scottish Highland and island story" - Standard Dictionary of Folklore.

First things first. It's 2012, and time for a new start in the Blogosphere. I am now on Twitter (mssheila757) and this has introduced me to the world of great Blogs and bloggers - I have a new goal to attain. The plan is to be consistent on Tuesdays and share about where I will performing, what research has caught my eye as of late, and other odds and ends about my profession as Storyteller and Character Presenter. So hang with me and, if you like it (or disagree or want to add), share a comment and share with friends. Peace.

Quick Performance Update: 1/6 - Christopher Farms Elementary School, Virginia Beach, VA; 1/7 - Newsome House, Newport News, VA
Other Jan. performances in: IA, OK, IN & VA (Virginia Beach and Yorktown)

So this started with some research on "bees" in folklore. Bees are considered messengers of the gods. In Ireland, it is important to tell the bees about a new project you are starting. I have not made a trip to a hive, but I hope the picture and the thoughts count. Also, learned some superstitions: a bee coming in your house (someone will die), a bee coming in and then leaving (stranger is coming to visit), and a bee comes in your house and then dies (well, your time is up!) And don't ever kill a bee - your death and your abundance will dry up. All good things to know.

I shared all this with my mother, including asking her if "bee venom" was ever used as a home remedy. "No," she said, "but Daddy [her Daddy] used to have to drink coal oil if sick." (Too much information.) I did learn about apitherapy which is bee venom theray and that bee venom is a product in some of our medicines - good as anti-inflammatory. Now I understand "bee pollen" be sold in the vitamin section. After sharing this with my mother, her thought was, "why do we say 'the birds and the bees' (referring to "the talk")?" I have no idea, however, did come across a book, "Birds, Bees and Babies", that might answer the question. See the story told at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpcZd4Fc0Lc. I'll let you do your own research or share thoughts about "the birds and the bees."

It also was interesting to note various media that talk about bees. The "Bee Movie" (Jerry Seinfield's cartoon movie), with the lesson that our ecosystem is interdependent and particularly needs the bees. My friend, storyteller extraordinaire and great blogger, Karen Langford Chance informed me about the book, "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, which became a movie starring Queen Latifah. (On a separate note, you should definitely be following Karen's blog if you love stories - karenchace.blogspot.com/) Want to hear awesome stories by great storytellers go to Story Bee, www.storybee.org. Some of my favorites are there: Donna Washington, Buck Creacy, Pam Holcomb and Ed Stivender. Two other stories about bees: "Buzzy Bee" by Carol Moore, http://www.magickeys.com/books/bee/index.html & "Bird & Bee Story" told on youtube, with really sappy background music, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjrHHj0j09M.

Other Little Notes, just cause: Read "Malindy and the Little Devil" in Virginia Hamilton's HerStories. This is a great story for practicing different voices, along with "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman. Ran across the Baptist Sunday School Hymnal from 1863 - very old songs, but great words. My Mom sang me a song she remembered from younger days, "My Grandfather's Clock." Anyone else know this one?

Share more with you next week. Sheila

1 comment:

  1. We sang "My Grandfather's Clock" in choir when I was in elementary school. Quite the memory.