Queen Talk, Swarms and Miracles

On May 12th 2015 a Swarm has come to live with us and we have named Her Sunny Girl.
sunny girl in sunhivesunny girl in new home

Sunny Girl is living in a Top Bar Hive doing everything that needs to be done Herself such as Comb Building.  To follow this Colony even on a distance and not seeing them Jany Bee has built two mini microphones in the Hive so we can hear the Sound of the Bees constantly while being in the house.

jan installing microphoneJan inside with sound equipment

 It is veSunny Girlry nice to hear the Bees coming home at the end of afternoon or hear them in front of the Hive about Noon.  We can hear them buzz in the Hive and sometimes, during the night, there is a special Sound we can’t name. It is a sort of smacking Sound.  Information from another blind Beekeeper learns that this might be the sound of young Bees sealing Comb.


Sunny girl is a very friendly loving Hive. When we are around they even do not come to us but just keep doing what they’re doing and their Sound continues being calm and quiet.  When Bees get upset one can hear the Sound going up, higher Pitch and getting louder. Not for Sunny Girl. She is very quiet.

The Hive is thriving and doing well. We can hear the Hive being full, getting huge. And we get the feeling Swarming might be near. One gets that restless feeling, maybe as restless as the Bees themselves?

It is Thursday July 9th that I hear the Sound for the first time, only once or twice in the evening but immediately recognized as a Quacking Queen.

On Friday July 10th the Quacking is heard more frequently and now it turns out to be the Quacking of two Queens, two different Voices, one lower than the other. There is Quacking only, no Piping at all.



From Saturday July 11th Queen Talk can be heard during the whole day and night with big pauses in between.

At Noon Sunday July 12th one of the Queens starts Piping. https://wakan.nl/beehome/piping.mp3  There is Queen Talk with long pauses of silence in between. Going along we can hear two Quacking Queens and one Piping.  The Piping One is moving through the Hive. Her Sound can be heard closer or further away. The Quacking Sound comes from one and the same direction/place.

From Tuesday evening July 14th the Quacking and Piping is constantly there. No pauses anymore.  Also the speed of the Sound itself goes up. And now it sounds like the Piping Queen is running through the Hive.

On Wednesday July 15th the Piping is heard with a double tone. The Hive is more “active” now, more Sounds of buzzing Bees.  There seems to be huge excitement. One can hear something very particular is about to happen.

On Thursday July 16th about 11AM a Swarm is leaving Sunny Girl Hive. Jany Bee is at home and can hear the Sound rising, becoming more intense and louder. The Audio Level Indicator is rising indicating sound is twice as loud as normal. This can’t be misunderstood. This absolutely is a Swarm.

Jan goes outside and the Swarm sounds like a cloud of Bees, hanging in a tree in our garden close to the Hive, about 10 m South.  Spreading his arms Jany Bee can tell the Swarm is as large as that.  He is calling someone for assistance, goes walking the dog to find out when coming back that the Swarm is gone.

Tinah Bee comes home between 1PM and 1:30PM. Also Elja, the woman who will assist in capturing the Swarm arrives at that time.  Stepping out of the door into the garden I, Tinah, can hear the Swarm and am able to indicate where they are, outside our garden. As soon as I start walking in the garden to listen more carefully I can’t tell from which direction the Sound is coming. It sounds like they are everywhere, all around.

Going back to the place where I heard them first I again am able to hear the direction their Sound is coming from.  We walk towards the spot and they are 20 m North from the first place they chose after leaving the Hive which means that they are still close to the Hive.
There they are, three small Swarms hanging in a tree.

3 swarms in tree with 2 in sun

Reaching up our hands we can touch them. Aah, that warmth that meets you when you reach out to them. They definitely are a Ball of Love radiating Warmth and Light.

Tinah with hand reaching up below swarm smilingjan with basket and tree

Jan and Elja are shaking the Swarms from the Branch into the Basket, the Basket which exactly fits under all 3 Swarms which might suggest that, in fact, we have one Swarm here.
While the Basket is on the ground Bees start flying back to the Swarm Site.

Jan with basket on the ground

We cover the Basket with a cloth and wait. Then go home to get some things and after coming back only a few Bees are still in the tree. No Bees gone back to the Basket. We bring them home and they will stay in the Basket until the evening of the next day, Friday July 17th.

Favorite close up of Tinah holding basket on doorway smiling with Jan looking on smiling

That night Jan is preparing a Hive for this new Beeing and Friday July 17th The Golden Tears of Ra are moving into their new Home.

Jan with frames in hiveJan putting cover on hiveJan putting on strap of hive showing Sunny Girl and Faery Home in the backgroundUp close of hive entrance showing bees sending out pheremone

On Saturday July 18th bringing food to support them Jan discovers they are gone, absconded. The Hive is empty. No Bees coming out after lifting the Lid and/or Frames.

In Sunny Girl we have heard the Queen piping very softly and only a few times a day up until Sunday night July 19th.

Tuesday July 21st Bees are seen in front of the colored Hive. Are this Robbers? Guards? Scouts?
Jan inspects the drawer which is under the screen bottom of the Hive and is feeling “things”..

What does this mean?
drawer showing activity
Signs of activity?  What is going on here?
Is there someone Home? Let’s find out and knock on the Door:
Miracles Do Happen

A Big Thank You to Melissa Bee for her assistance in the Layout of this Blog and
Debra Roberts for the Hot Line Connection during this Swarming Adventure.

We also Give Thanks to Smart Beeing for sponsoring the Top Bar Hives and bringing Sunny Girl, and also Faerie Home, into our lives.

Photographer Ferry Schutzelaars (Sunny Girl)
Photographer Elja van der Have (Swarm Adventure)


Hive Autopsy

Persephone’s Voice recorded December 3rd 2014

Life and Death of Persephone’s Hive


Persephone’s Hive arrived July 5th 2014. She came from a woman who, as we learned later, is treating her Hives the whole year through against Varroa.
Persephone looked like being a healthy Hive.

They were quiet and gentle but also stingy, maybe because of dealing with a wasps nest first and short after a time of drought. We supported Her with Food. Already in those first months we noticed some Varroa.

People had told us not to worry about Varroa because this, mostly, is not found in a Hive during the first year. But we did.

Being Natural/Sacred Beekeepers we decided to not treat our Hives, to not send weakened/sick Drones into the world to Meet and Mate a Queen and so weakening the Race of Honey Bees as a whole.

It has been proved that non treated Colonies “Produce” stronger, healthier, faster Drones than treated Colonies and that those non treated Drones are favorite as it comes to Fly with the Queen.

Back to Persephone, summer 2014.
There was constantly Brood in all Stages and in September they started encircling Brood with Honey.

On December 3rd Persephone’s Voice has been recorded, She was still alive as you can hear here:  www.beehome.wakan.nl/cluster03-12-2014.mp3

On December 29th there were dead Bees blocking the entrance and there was a dizzy Bee on the outside of the Hive.  Wings were transparant.


The Hive is loaded with Food, open Honey, tinahframebeesemergingcapped Honey and Pollen, stored in the Honey Super and in the two Brood Chambers, too.





There are some dead Bees.  There is a Frame wtinahcloseupframeith a Bit of Brood and there is a Frame with Bees emerging.  We also find a little bit of Mold/Fungus but this might be caused by the Hive having been closed for the past months.
No signs of Moth. No Varroa was found.




We can’t but come to the conclusion that we are dealing with Colony Collapse tinahframeDisease here.   Bees are dispersed and left some Brood and Emerging Bees and a Hive loaded with Food behind.





New Observations of the Natural History of Bees by Francois Huber

Taking care of Bees one important thing you want to do is Observing. During Hive Inspections our Mentor, Maarten, is looking for all kind of signs. Pollen and Wax on the bottomplate are telling you the Bees are doing their work properly.
You want to see eggs in the frames + socalled open brood and capped brood, all stages a Bee goes through before emerging into the world. The Queen is doing her work and the Hive is growing.
What about food storage. Are they making Honey?
Also outside the Hive you want to look for signs showing things are right or wrong. It is normal to find some dead Bees but it is not normal if there are many or wings or legs. That are signs indicating there might be a robber wanting to steal the Honey.

But how to observe while being blind.

Wax and Pollen we, of course, can check by feeling on the bottomplate and taste. But what about behavior?
On our Sacred Beekeepers, calendar August is known as Venom Moon. The Bees can be more stingy because there might be less Nectar around. Persephone’s Hive is mild and gentle. Their Hum is pretty low which means they are moving their wings slowly, being calm. Because as you may know the flapping of the wings causes vibrations and these vibrations are translated by our ears into sound. The faster they are flapping with their wings the higher the tone of their Hum.

Jan and I noticed that since a few weeks the Bees were more stingy. To be honest Jan noticed. He got stung ten times. Being close to the Hive, at the backside, being silent and not moving fast, the Bees would come and sting. The Guards would come as soon as we were entering their Area or even while being in the garden close to their Area. The sound was higher than we were used to. The sound wasn’t higher only, it also was sort of sharper. Something was wrong. In the beginning no visual signs could confirm our observation in a way of something is wrong. Also the scent of the Hive was changed. It smelled a bit yoghurdy. This might mean that there indeed was less or lack of food and then you smell the Brood only.
Two weeks later we, our Mentor, noticed signs of robbing. There was a wing and leg and antenna on the bottomplate. We gave them extra food in case there was less Nectar and we reduced the entrance so the Guards could do their job more easily.

After two days the beehavior was changed again. They were Humming more calmly and did not come to us while approaching the Hive or being in the garden.

Except looking for signs it is very important to be aware of every little change in behavior, in sound, scent and movement.

We’re definitely not as good as Francois Huber, a blind naturalist who lived from 1750-1831 and who studied the Bees with help of his wife and assistant. It was him who wrote the book: New Observations on the Natural History of Bees. He is a great Inspiration and source of information. Because of his work we now know what is happening in the Hive, what roles the Bees have, all the different work they do and all about Queens. To honor him you will find a link towards his work.


The Hum of Bees is the Song of Creation


On July 5th our first Hive arrives to live with us.
Seeing their Hives as part of the family Melissae always name their Queens and/or Hives.
The name we have chosen for our first Queen is Persephone.
It is in these days that Persephone pops up in my life again.
And what I’ve never seen before is that her name is connected with sound.
Fone is the Greek word for Sound/Voice. Think of words as telephone and symphony.
Googling Persephone I find a for me strange declaration of her name on a Page called Behind the name.
Although they do not know the origin of Her name they think it might be derived from the word Pertho = Destroy and Fone they translate with Murder.
I remember very well from my Greek lessons that Fone is Sound/Voice as I’ve described above.
From my point of view Persephone is the Sound/Voice destroying/chasing away Winter and Darkness.

The story goes (as told by Charlene Spretnak in her book Lost Goddesses of early Greece) that Persephone out of free will descends to the Underworld to comfort the Dead. While she is in the Underworld Autumn and Winter are on Earth. When she is ready with her work and returns to this world it is Spring and Summer.
So, when her voice is back in this world flowers will pop up out the Earth again ready to receive and give life and bloom.

And so it is with Bees. When they leave their Hives after their stay in darkness during their dreamy wintertime we can hear their Buzz again and flowers will pop up out of the Earth again ready to nourish and be nourished making love with life itself in a Sacred Action called Pollination.

And so Persephone for me is connected with Bees and her Sound/Voice is connected with Bhramari Song, The Hum of Bees, which is said to be The First Sound of Creation.



While I’m working on the Offerings/Assignments of the College of the Melissae Jan is working in the garden to get the Beeyard ready.

Creating a Path from the main Path of the garden to the Beeyard.
Creating a Gate at the end of the Path. Passing the Gate means entering Bee Area.
A ribbon on my right will lead me safely along the edge of this Area, along a screen with plants to the Hive. This way I will always end up at the backside of the Hive.
I hear the echo of the Hive at my left and I will find a chair at my right as a marker and as something to sit on and be with the Bees.

Right in front of the Hive seed is planted for growing all sorts of Bee-friendly Organic Flowers, a 5-Star Bee Restaurant.pad-perkje





<img src="https://beehomeblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/hommel2.jpg?w=300" alt="hommel2" broedkamer met bijenwidth=”300″ height=”225″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-18″ /></aFROM WORDS TO IMAGES

Many people ask me: how can you recognize things. I can see it so I know what it is but you can’t.
My answer always is: just like all other children blind kids also learn about the world they are living in.
Once upon a time someone has told us, you and me: this here we call a chair and this is a table.
And we all, sighted or not, have stored that information in our memories to tap from.
You can look at a chair and save that image. I can walk around it and feel it and save that shape/form. We can sit upon it and save that experience.
And so we all build up a memory in our own unique way.
But now we get to the socalled far-away-things, things on a distance.
There was a young girl who thought fishes are swimming upright like people are walking upright.
That’s why it is so important that information is given very precisely otherwise we get the wrong picture so to speak.
Talking about cows, sheep etc we can solve the “problem” easily by walking up to them and touch them.
But what about the sun and moon and stars.
We will never be able to touch them. People can try and give their descriptions and there are tactile drawings. Let’s take the sun, a drawing of the sun. What you feel is a circle and beams radiating from it. And what you feel is 2-dimensional. You can’t feel depth.
And then people go: but this is not how it looks like.
Sorry? We draw it this way but it doesn’t look that way.
Are you kidding? No, I’m not.

So, how about Bees?
Since I want to be(come) a Melissa I know that the practice of beekeeping will be part of my Path and I’m glad that Jan will walk this Path with me.
Fortunately we have found a Mentor, Maarten Hertzberger, who will guide us on this adventure and we have become member of the local BeeClub.
On Feb. 22nd this year we visit Maarten for the first time and that afternoon words like Hive, Frame, Smoker, BeeVeil will forever loose their absract meaning and will become “Clear Images”.
We feel a Hive, no Bees in it so we can open it and take everything out.
We can feel the frames where they build their cells on out of wax, the container for food, the Screen that keeps the Queen away from the Honey Super, the entrance for the Bees to fly in and out.
We are holding tools in our hands like a Smoker, Bee Suit, a Scraper, container for a Queens transportation.
That day Beekeeping changes from Words into Images.
That day the Path of a Beekeeper come to life.

April 28th we join another lesson with people from the BeeClub.
There is also someone from the Zoo, Artis, in Amsterdam and now a big surprise comes our way.
In Artis they have a stuffed Bumblebee. I’m surprised about the claws of this insect, I can feel its antennae, its six legs, the basket for gathering Pollen.
This is so great. A Bumblebee, someone once said, is the teddybear amongst the Pollinators and that’s exactly how it feels.
And although a Bumblebee is larger than a Honeybee, from now on I will be able to imagine them very properly.

Why Bees??? Because they need us like we need them!



LOVE = The Nectar of the Heart of Divinity.
I fill my cup and share it generously.

This is the first message I receive from the BeeWorld in the summer of 2012. It is during a workshop with Anique Radiant Heart, Creating a Sacred Gourd, a Healing Rattle,
that I find this message on my chair, on a photo. On the photo also is an image of the Goddess Kwan Yin and her Mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum.

Later that week I have a dream in which a woman comes to me with a long needle in her hand. I’m afraid she is going to give me an injection but she doesn’t.
She says: taste this and puts the needle in my mouth. What I taste is something very sweet.

A day or two later I read a story in Lynn Andrews newsletter about the Melipona Bees from Mexico. These are Stingless Bees. The ancient Mayan People already
kept them, worked and lived with them in a harmonious and respectful way.
In this post Lynn is sharing about these Melipona Bees gathering their Nectar from specific flowers, not all. They carefully choose the flowers to collect
the Nectar from. We, too, can choose the Paths of Knowledge we want to walk very consciously and carefully. We can hold the knowledge, the Nectar, within and transform
it into our own Honey = Wisdom.
This speaks to me in a very strong way and it was at that moment in time I realized that I have done this whole my life. I have been transforming the Heavy Metals of my life into
Gold, the Nectar into Honey, and still do so.
And it is by then that I consciously set my first steps on the Sacred Path of Bees.

But how to become a BeePriestess, a Melissa, in these days.
In layne Redmond’s Book When the Drummers were Women we can read about the Melissae from ancient times.
We can learn a lot from them but, we are living in a complete different time. How to benefit from this ancient wisdom and make it our own? One that fits
in the time we are living in now?

In 2013 Isabella Verbruggen, Framedrum Teacher and translator of Layne’s Book into Dutch, organizes a BeePriestess workshop.
We learn from the Ancient Melissae via Hilda Ransome’s Book The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore, we visit a Beekeeper, Drum and meditate and doing Rituals. One of them is a Honey Ritual in which you, with Honey on your lips, speak the Truth from your Heart.
Shortly after I find the College of the Melissae on Facebook. The COM provides an Online Course with regular Live Classes studying Science, Sacred, History, Mystery, Art and Activism, the socalled 6-Fold Path of the Melissa. I sign up and embark on this Journey in 2014. We’re encouraged to Experience, doing research, to think, feel, dream, meditate etc. To bring alive in the here and now Sacred Beekeeping based on Ancient Knowledge and Wisdom gathered and lived by BeePriestesses/Melissae in the Past, passed down to us through Symbol, Myth and Text to pass on by us with our Understanding gained by Study and Experience.
And of course Keeping Bees in a Natural/Sacred Way is part of this Melissa Education.

But how to Keep Bees while being blind?
Together with Jan, my Beeloved, I walk this Path in Practice.
We both are blind. I’m happy with Jan at my side because he is so handy and always thinks in solutions. I for sure will need him in this very practical part of my Study/Education.
How we manage keeping Bees I will share with you via this Blog and via our FB-Page Bee Home, too.

Enjoy the Journey!