…My father has bees. Today I was at his house and he showed me all the honey he had taken from the hives. He took the lid off a 5 gallon bucket full of honey and on top of the honey were three little bees struggling. They were covered in sticky honey and drowning. I asked him if we could help them and he said he was sure they would not survive. Probably they are victims of honey gathering.
I asked him again if we couldn’t at least get them out and kill them quickly, after all he was the one who had taught me to put a suffering animal (or bug) out of its misery. Finally, he relented and scooped the bees out of the bucket. He put them in an empty Chobani yogurt cup and put the plastic container outside.
Since he had disturbed the hive when he took the honey earlier, the bees were flying all over the place outside.
We put the 3 small bees in the container on a bench and left them to their fate. My father called me over a short time later to show me what had happened. These three little bees were surrounded by all their sisters (all bees are female), and they were cleaning the sticky, almost dead bees and helping them remove the honey from their bodies.
When we returned a short time later, there was only one small bee left in the container. She was still being cared for by her sisters.
When it was time for me to leave, we took one last look, and all three bees had been cleaned up enough to fly away, and the container was empty.
These three little bees lived because they were surrounded by family and friends who would not give them up, family and friends who refused to let them drown in their own stickiness, and who decided to help them until the last little bee could be freed.
Bee sisters. Bee-colleagues. Bee-colleagues.
We could all learn a thing or two from these bees.
Bee kind always.