B is for Bees


Bees are crucial to our everyday life. Sure, they sting on occasion, but only when they feel threatened. They may seem like a sweet bug, flitting from flower to flower, but they are crucial to pollination and the production of our fruits and vegetables. I learned this lesson the hard way the past spring.

In the past, I’ve planted a few veggies, just for fun, but this past year, I went all out and planted a bunch of plants- 4 different tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, radishes, green beans, etc. A BUNCH of plants. They all sprouted beautifully, but it became very clear that there was a problem- especially with the cukes and zukes. My first few cucumbers were beautiful, but then they started looking very crooked and gourd-like. They still tasted fine, but man, they were UGLY. My zucchini gave me a few fine fruits, but then, I started having some issues with blossom end rot and stunted growth. Even my tomatoes took a little longer to bear fruit. I used the google machine and found that these problems are usually due to poor pollination. My little, fragrant flowers were dwarfed by the vegetables, and that seemed to be a leading cause of the problem.

Bees were honored in many cultures. The Greek goddess Aphrodite was honored in her temple at Eryx as “Melissa-” queen of the bees. Her priestesses were called Melissae. Honey is the only consumable food that is produced without harm to a living creature, and also is the only food that doesn’t spoil. I’ve always kind of wanted to keep bees (yum, honey!), but I haven’t been in a living situation conducive to it. When I was a really little girl, my grandmother had a beehive in her backyard, and I used to love playing with the bees. I would go out there and play for hours and hours, and never got stung. Not once. My mother and grandmother would beg me to come back, and when they would come through the bees to get me, they’d inevitably get stung. It was ironic, because one of my given names means honeybee. I really appreciate and honor the honeybees- even if I no longer want to play with them, and have to staunch the compulsion to run, as was taught to me in elementary school!

A few years back , the news ran many reports about how the number of honeybees were declining. My coven did a full moon ritual for the honeybees, and it seems as though they were everywhere after that, at least in my own personal bubble. I've made honey cakes for offerings when we honor the Greek gods, with much success.

I love the bees. I’m learning to not run from them, and to not be afraid of them, as they do their queenly job. They are very important to the cycle of life- without them, the plants wouldn’t get pollinated, and we’d have no food- even the animals we eat (if you are an omnivore), depend on them for their food.

A chant to NOT be stung by honeybees
(I think it’s by Trish Telesco- I’ve been using it for years)

Blessed be thy little wings,

Keep far from me your hurts and stings

The recipe I use for Greek Honey Cake (from Rumour at allrecipes.com)
I’m not linking, because the amount of calories per serving might put you off. ;)


• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon orange zest
• 3/4 cup butter
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cup honey
• 3/4 cup water
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange rind. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into diamond shapes. Pour honey syrup over the cake.

4. For the Honey Syrup: In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.


Post a Comment

If for some reason, this won't let you comment, try commenting as Anonymous? Blogger isn't working out for me.