Old ritual about keeps


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Annapolis Valley N.S.
    Posts
    5,828

    Old ritual about keeps

    I have heard about the old ritual that when a keep dies, another keep should go to his hives and tell them that their master is gone.
    Does anyone know more on this subject? Where and when did it start? I find it intriguing!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Mascotte, Fl.
    Posts
    1,042
    I was always told it was the keeps wife was supposed to do it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Clinton, TN
    Posts
    164
    There is an old old poem about it.

    Kinda hard to understand. You can read the poem at http://www.bloomfieldbeeshoney.com/beepoem.shtml
    An exerpt: It is said that when a beekeeper dies, one must go to his hives and whisper to his bees that their master has departed. This honors both bees and beekeepers, and we hope you enjoyed reading this poem.


    Hope this helps.

    James

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Nashville, NC
    Posts
    277
    Quote Originally Posted by rast View Post
    I was always told it was the keeps wife was supposed to do it.
    If that is the case would the closest keep please contact me? Accepting resumes!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NE Alabama & New Jersey
    Posts
    106
    In Southern Appalachia, those who can "talk to the bees" can foretell death, the bees tell them (so I guess the bees would already know the master is dead?). Novelist Sharyn McCrumb has a recurring character named Nora Bonecutter who "has the sight" and "talks to the bees."

    There is much folk culture linking bees and death. Some of it has to do with honey as a burial offering, some with beeswax as candles, some with the hexagonal shape of the cells, some with the inscrutable mystery of a species that is millions of years old and close to eternity.

    Another beek coming to do a "pastoral visit" with a dead keeper's bees is probably more comforting to the keepers than the bees... but I still like it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Clinton, TN
    Posts
    164
    When a beekeeper dies, the bees must be informed. I learned this tradition a few years ago, while visiting Slovenia’s Apicultural Museum. One of the exhibits was a short film. My mother and I watched as a grandfather trained a lederhosen-wearing boy to be a beekeeper. Shot entirely in golden late afternoon light, it was a bittersweet story, and near the end of the film the grandpa died. A final scene showed the boy hunkered near the hive, his lips moving in a whisper. I knew the boy would have felt the heat of the hive, generated by so many thousands of bees, and that it would have smelled like wax and propolis — a rich ambrosial aroma. The bees whining through the box would have sounded like a wail. How consoling that act would be in the face of death.

    Taken from http://www.salon.com/2007/03/13/bees_3/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    Posts
    34
    I believe the idea of informing bees of things that go one within the keepers house probably goes back much farther. The Celtic people believe that bees were messengers between realms. But I found this: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/osc/osc69.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Clinton, TN
    Posts
    164
    Telling the Bees

    Posted on December 12, 2010 by LaLA Honey
    Telling the bees is a tradition dating back to Medieval times, where a designated “beespeaker” visited the apiaries to tell the bees about significant events in the lives of the community. It is still thought by some apiarists that when a beekeeper dies someone must inform the hives of his of her death and introduce them to their new keeper. It has been observed that failure to report the beekeeper’s death will cause the bees to swarm.
    From: http://nbba.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/telling-the-bees/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Randleman, NC
    Posts
    8,983
    What about the shoes. I have always been told that a family member should put the deceased ones shoes or boots on one of the hives and tell the bees of his death.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NE Alabama & New Jersey
    Posts
    106
    Correction. Nora Bonesteel. c.f., http://books.google.com/books?id=-py...20bees&f=false

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Israel-central lowlands
    Posts
    3,696
    Blog Entries
    10
    I have never heard of this before.
    My first reaction was, "Aw c'mon now, beeks never die."
    Than came reality, and I felt like saying, "How sad".
    Finally came acceptance and I thought, "How nice and respectfully thoughtful."
    But all through, it made me feel a bit sad.
    A redeeming thought was that it's nice if the informing beek is a child of the deceased and comes to replace the loss of the "master" with a continuing generation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concord, TN
    Posts
    5,162
    Quote Originally Posted by efmesch View Post
    A redeeming thought was that it's nice if the informing beek is a child of the deceased and comes to replace the loss of the "master" with a continuing generation.
    I think I like that the best

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    6,486
    I read something along the line of this in an old bee keeping magazine. There was also an interesting side story that reported that during the funeral for a very old beekeeper, when the hearse drove past his apiary a swarm issued from one of his hives which then followed the procession to the graveyard and settled in one of the trees at the grave site. When the funeral had ended the swarm then moved on...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    327
    Seems like there was an article in Bee Culture within the last 2-3 years about that tradition, but I can't find it at the moment.

    Did find this link - scroll a bit past halfway down:
    http://www.andrewgough.co.uk/bee3_2.html

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    South Alabama
    Posts
    372
    From what I've read, to "tell the bees" is to inform the bees of their keeper's death so that they can understand what has happened to him/her and so that they will continue to produce honey.

    America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within. - Josef Stalin

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •