Link to help the Bees:https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_the_be ... 442&v=8117
I am going to start keeping bees and have been doing research on bees. Bees are the "Canary in the Mine" - a warning about the unsustainable practices that are endangering the environment in which we live. Many bee colonies have "collapsed" in a mysterious disorder called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). But natural or organic bee keepers have not experienced these problems. There is an old saying: "Ask the wild bee what the Druid's knew" - one could add to that "Ask the captive bees what knowledge we have lost!"
Some of the commercial bee keeping practices include taking too much away from the bee colonies, including not only honey but also pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bees wax, and bee venom (used to treat arthritis and rheumatism, as well as allergies). When the bee keepers take away too much of these products, they "feed" them with sugar water, which does not have the same nutritional values as honey and pollen which include natural immunities, minerals, vitamins, protein and fat. Propolis is also have immunities and is used by the hive as protection. Royal jelly is the only food consumed by the queen. And, finally, the bees wax not only holds the honey and larva, but also helps insulate the hive. In addition to all this, commercial bee keepers also will move the hives - packing them onto 18 wheel trucks and shipping them from Florida to Washington for the apple crop and then to California for the almond crop.
When I've been reading about bees, I have read a lot about the history of the bee goddess in Egypt, Greece (including some interesting Pythagorean points). But not much or well developed material on Druids and bees. I know they were protected by Brehon law and would like to get more specifics. There is a natural relationships between bees and trees! Trees provide shelter for wild hives, and 5 or 6 trees provide more forage for bees than an acre of wildflower meadow. Bee nutrition has to contain amino acids that are not available in every type of pollen, plus they need steady pollen that blooms at different times within their 2 mile foraging radius. Single crops can therefore be problematic. Bees need diversity in their grove.
I've connected bee needs to the Druid trees on the purported "Celtic Calendar" and connected to Ogham (as much as I can):
TREE - CELTIC CALENDAR MONTH - BLOOMING MONTHS - BEE NUTRITIONAL QUALITY
Birch January Early Spring produces good propolis
Rowan February May-Jun
Willow Feb-Apr Major/Good
Ash April May-Jun
Hawthorn May Apr-May Fair
Oak June May-Jun Minor
Holly July May-Jun Wonderful
Hazel August Early Spring Fair/Good
Apple Apr-May Very Good
Vine September Early Summer
Ivy / Field October Sep-Oct late blooming
Broom November Apr-Jun
Blackthorn Spring Good
Elder December Jun-Jul Excellent
Yew Apr-Jun problematic
Fir / Pine May-Jun low protein
Gorse Autumn Good Timing
Heather Jul-Aur Good
Poplar Feb-Mar produces good propolis
Honeysuckle Winter difficulties
Beech Apr-May produces good propolis
Most discussion only focus on 'Industry", but Bee wisdom is renown, for their environmental wisdom of mutualism, i.e. there is a mutually beneficial relationship between bees and trees (and other plants). They are also known for their democratic decision making!