This was my original research question (or one of them) when I started wondering about how to take my doctoral studies forward. The photo underneath here shows a section of one of the brood frames from my hive ‘Audrey’. The honey belongs to the bees, they are making it for stores, and they are raising baby bees, and doing bee stuff. There is a good ecological argument for honouring the bees’ ownership of their honey (see here for example ) but something else occurs to the alchemist in me. The honey is the gold. It is the product of a craft process, by which beauty – flowers – transforms to sweetness – honey. Beauty to sweetness. Sweetness is a heart quality. It seems to me that beauty is something which we encounter, we see it revealed to us when we have eyes to see. And then if we let this beauty in to our hearts, if we see in a certain way, we become more open, more loving, more sweet – this is the gold, we produce this honey in our hearts, and it is gold – the alchemical gold, we generate and give back love. We create ourselves as more compassionate beings, more loving, more open hearted.
So what are the implications of stealing the bees’ honey? I am not sure that stealing is an energy which it is helpful to bring in to the cycle I am describing here. Taking, tricking, warfare (for that is how the bees see it even if the beekeepers don’t) – these are not kind qualities. Perhaps stealing the bees’ honey is a step too far away from the archetype of beauty transforming to gold/sweetness. I know I am talking about two things here – the image and the analogue. But maybe they are not so separate. Beauty to the honey, beauty to gold.