Tell it to the Bees

Connect to Nature Online Creative Writing Class

29.04.2020

Welcome to a new online Connect to Nature creative writing class. Now that we are well in to Spring and approaching the Summer months I thought it would be lovely to create a session to welcome our beautiful Bees! There are many charms and omens associated with bees lets start with a couple of traditional rhymes:

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay,
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon,
A swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly!

*

When bees to distance wing their flight,
Days are warm and skies are bright,
But when their flight ends near their home
Stormy weather is sure to come.

The first rhyme indicates bees as a prediction for the harvest, the second as a sign of the weather to come.

There are lots of varieties and types of bees. Bees are fascinating and gentle creatures. They are captivating. From the lovely buff tailed fluffy bumble bee, to the leaf cutter and mason bees – you can identify them all here on this excellent guide. I love them all! I’ve put lots of links within the tasks this week, don’t feel you have to click on them all, they are there if you want some extra inspiration or are excited to discover more.

So lets start this week’s class:

Task 1: (5 mins) A charm for the Bees! Just for fun to start the class; write a three line charm for the Bees welcoming them to the summer and wishing them well. For fun try and include some of the following words:- Welcome, Sunshine, Flowers and Pollen as part of your writing. Don’t worry about making it rhyme, just have fun!

Heres an example:

Welcome honey coloured bees
Happy gathering of pollen
Enjoy our dew drenched summer flowers

Task 2: (5 mins) What type of bee would you be!? Have a look at the bee identification guide in the link at the start of the class. Some bees live in colonies and hives, others such as the leaf cutter bee live a solitary life and pack themselves away in their leaf cuttings to hibernate. Choose a bee that reflects your personality. Write for five minutes matching the bee’s traits to your own.

Task 3: (10 mins) A day in the life of…..! Writers often use personification – where we apply human traits to something non-human. Write about the day in a life of a bee. Imagine the bee’s journey, can you give the bee a voice and describe what the bee sees as she flies (worker bees are all female – for more info link here if want to!).

Task 4: (5 mins) Tell it to the Bees. It is a long tradition of Bee Keepers to tell their secrets and big events to the bees. Without doing this you could risk a swarm! There’s an interesting blog post on this here. Just for fun to end the class, think of a secret that you could tell to the bees. In five lines tell them your secret, if you want to – go and find a bee to whisper it to!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s class. The more you look the more bees you will see and identify. Also look out for the golden hover-flies starting to appear – they are just as important pollinators as the bees!

I will leave you with this final bee folklore which, along with the top two rhymes, were sent to me by my fantastic colleague Paul Botting. Paul has run horticultural therapy for many years for various teams that I have worked in and now his main role is to deliver supported voluntary work sessions at Poppleton Community Railway Nursery in partnership with Converge.

Rob your bees during the new of the moon and they’ll produce more honey next time. ( I take that to mean remove the honey)

It’s bad luck to sell bees.

If you sell your bees and receive payment into your hand you have sold your luck with your bees. To sell bees you must have the buyer lay the payment on a rock and refrain from picking up the money until the bees are gone with their new owner.

When a member of the family dies the bee hives must be draped in black cloth to make sure they don’t leave.

If you fail to move your bees when a family member dies-all the bees will die as well.

If a bee flies in and out of the house-it brings good luck.

If a bee owner dies, the bees must be told of the death and moved or they will leave the hive.

Don’t forget to send me your words, images and inspirations for inclusion in the Friday Letters blog post. They can be on the theme of bees or something that has inspired you from your own interactions with the natural world.

Take care,

See you Friday!

Best wishes,

Emma

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

2 thoughts on “Tell it to the Bees

  1. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say superb blog!

    Like

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