The Bee Village


Walking the dog a couple of days ago the first chubby wee bee of spring buzzed busily by taking me with it back through the decades to the days of my childhood. Visiting older relatives can so very often be tedious for young children but visiting my great-aunt and uncle was never so. Uncle Adam was the gardener on a large country estate in the rural heart of Fife and they lived in a wee cottage set against the wall of the large walled garden that he tended with love and care. With acres of grounds to explore I would wander freely for hours only returning to the cottage when hunger called me back to tuck into one of Aunty Molly’s delicious home-baked scones.

One day, discovering a small grassy embankment topped by a large hedge, I followed the path to a set of steps leading up to a gate in the hedge. With the curiosity of childhood I stepped through the gateway and was instantly surrounded by cloud of bees. Standing very still I allowed them to inspect me until, satisfied that I posed no threat, they went about their business. Filling the large square within the high hedge, much to my amazement, were rows and rows of wooden hives.


I wandered amongst them in wonder for a while then walking slowly back down the steps I turned the corner and ran all the way back to the cottage. Bursting in on the grown ups chatting over tea and scones with eyes shinning brightly I breathlessly exclaimed ‘I’ve found a bee village!

With a quiet smile my uncle pulled on his boots and holding hands I skipped with excitement by his side all the way back to the apiary {for that is what it was} as he explained to me all about the Importance Of Bees. This time as we stepped through the gateway in the hedge the bees paid us no attention at all, not even when {without the need for smoke or hats as they knew and trusted him and by now I had been properly introduced*} he lifted the lid off a hive taking it apart to let me see for myself the secret of honey. We gathered a comb of honey before carefully putting the hive back together and thanking the bees returned to the cottage.

Dismayed when I heard of the recent decline of the honey bees I do what I can {and it is very easy to do} in the Secret Garden to support these extraordinary creatures and who knows perhaps one day I may even be lucky enough to have a hive of my own.

Special issue stamps from Ukraine where bee keeping is a major economic activity.

Special issue stamps from Ukraine where bee keeping is a major economic activity.

All pictures were pinched from Pinterest…many thanks to the many Pinners

*Telling the Bees

According to Scottish folklore if you want to know what the Druids know ask the bees because the bees know everything. Also it is very important to tell the bees of any event within the family {births marriages and deaths} and in the event of the death of their master they must be invited to the funeral otherwise they will leave the hive and never return.



2 thoughts on “The Bee Village

  1. What a fascinating story, loved it and how cool is that to have a bee whispering grandfather, not to mention fabulous fresh honey on tap. I didn’t know about the “Telling the Bees” folklore and when I think about it makes sense and I can’t help but wonder if that’s what’s being the busy bee/busy body label we attach to people came from. We all know those busy bodies who seem to know everything that’s going on … just like those real busy honey bees!

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