Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Uncommon Honeybee

Years ago, honeybees were common in gardens. Now, they have become rather rare in many areas. I had not seen a real honeybee in the garden for a number of years until today. Early this morning, I went outside before the hideous effects of the current heat wave became too intense, to enjoy a cup of coffee amidst the flowers. It was then that I spied a honeybee flitting from flower to flower. There was only one bee but it made a valiant attempt to pollinate as many flowers as possible. I was struck by its beauty, glossy like silk velvet.

The bee is an ancient symbol of industry. It was popular in ancient Rome as well as medieval and Renaissance Europe. Napoleon took it as his symbol as well. I had a chance to purchase a Roman seal ring with a bee on it a couple of years ago but I resisted the temptation. As with any 'missed' unique item, I regret my temporary strength of will now. I doubt I shall have an opportunity like that again.

As a child, I remember that our garden buzzed with honeybees. It is sad that the bees have departed from so-called 'civilised' environs, but I am delighted to have seen one this morning.

The Etruscans would have believed the sighting to be an omen from the gods. If so, what does it portend for me?

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