Introduction

 

Can there be a more evocative sound of the abundance of summer than that of the hum of the bee as she busies herself in the flowers, collecting sweet nectar to mature into honey? Here at the Awakened Forest Project we are passionate about keeping bees. We are finding more natural ways to work with the bees to produce honey for us without compromising the health of the bees and the hives. In fact we believe we can increase bee health with our natural styles of hives and more gentle bee keeping methods.

Bees are an intrinsic part of every ecosystem except Antartica on the planet and we depend on them for the foods they pollinate for us. According to Greenpeace

“Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but the best and healthiest food – fruits, nuts, and vegetables – are pollinated by bees. Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops, which supply about 90 percent of the world's nutrition, are pollinated by bees.”

But bees, like so many species today, are in crisis. Globally they are dying as more and more often whole colonies die or disappear without a trace with no apparent cause. This is called colony collapse disorder (CCD). They are host to an increasing number of parasites of which the Varroa mite is the most significant threat in Europe. Although there is speculation as to the cause of CCD and the rise of Varroa to us it is very clear. Bees and their, often agricultural, environments are routinely soaked with chemical pesticides. Many beekeepers in order to combat the parasites resort to using toxic pesticides yaer after year inside the hives. 

The hive is a complex ecosystem where the bees ferment food for the larvae (bee bread) and mature nectar into honey. The harsh toxic chemicals throw this precise ecosystem out of balance, and as a result the bees are weakened and their immune systems compromised. The bees are a warning to us all, a canary in the mine, to show us that we can’t keep using toxic biocides in the environment without devastating consequences. They are showing us what until now we have refused to see.

Here in the Serra do Açor we are blessed with an unpolluted environment, largely free from chemicals. The air and water are clean and the mountain sides here are bursting with bee forage nearly all year from pioneer plants such as broom (Genisteae spp.), through to the beautiful purple stains of heather (Calluna vulgaris) moving up the mountains in spring, summer and autumn, the chestnut bloom in late August and even the eucalyptus trees in the depth of winter. The honey from these mountains is dark and nutritious. The forage times are longer here too because of the microclimates provided by the mountains and valley the same plant can be in bloom over a long period and as the bees fly 3km to find their flowers they can seek out the still flowering plants. Another advantage to our bees is that we are isolated by geography from other hives reducing the risk of the spread of parasites and disease, which is significant problem in other areas. 

I often communicate with our bees. I silently ‘talk’ to them and sometimes I hear what they have to say to me. Last year a friend who is writing a book about endangered species for children asked if the bees had any message for us humans. So one evening, I sat quietly in the forest and I asked the bees what they wanted to say and this what I heard from the Queen Bee;

“We want to work with humans. We want to help us all to go forward. It is not that science and ‘progress’ are bad but they are not the full picture. Blinded as you are by reason you are also blinded to the consequences of you actions when they are inconvenient. 
We have to do something about the saturation of the environment in toxic chemicals. The pesticides and fungicides are weakening all – not just us bees – ALL life, including humans. We are the canary in the mine. We are dying to show you. To shock you into realising what is going on, the effects of your actions. We are not the first, remember the Silent Spring? [a book by Rachel Carson written in 1969 highlighting the killing of wildlife, especially birds, by pesticides in the US]

But perhaps you will take more notice than you did then because you see you need us for your food supply.
 We are dying because we are weakened physically and energetically and so are you! You do not realise this because of your longer lives but look at your epidemics: depression, fatigue, confusion, separation, cancer the list could go on. This is from your toxic environment. We are not evolved to cope with this either. It affects our nervous system it compromises our immune systems. We are not designed for this and we will not take it anymore.


We implore you to wake up! Do whatever you can do to rid yourselves of these biocides. Do not take it anymore. At whatever seeming risk or sacrifice stop using pesticides! 
Stop buying chemically soaked food. Stop buying processed food. Eat whole food. For all our sakes. It is no coincidence that it is us – the pollinating honeybee – provider and facilitator of your food that is to warn you that the way you grow and process your food is killing us all.
 If you want to make a change. If you want to ‘save’ us then stop the chemical warfare on the planet and start with clean, whole food.


A note for beekeepers:
 I know it is hard for you, confusing and challenging. For those of you attempting natural methods we appreciate your efforts. Keep going, exploring, learning. We will help you all we can.
 For those of you using toxic chemical and industrialized methods; we can’t take much more. We will leave you.


We the bees are here to fully support evolution and at this point the evolution of the consciousness of mankind is our focus. We love mankind as we love our treasured planet. We will continue to do all we can. Please join us."

Whether or not you believe in interspecies communication the message is still the same we can all to take positive action now to help the bees in very simple but meaningful ways. Here we feel it is our joy as well as our duty to keep bees and go some way to repairing the sacred relationship between humankind and bee.

 

Events

Benfeita, May 1st 2017
Para Português clique aqui
 
Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita October 21st 10 - 5pm

I am very happy to announce another opportunity to begin to learn the art and science of foraging in our beautiful valley in the Serra do Açor.

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita 12 - 15 Ocober 2017

In our times crafts such as green woodwork are something truly revolutionary. We find making a useful product with ones own hands straight from the forest is totally inspiring.  Not only is such work simply sustainable it is also deeply...

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita - Date TBC 2018

People have retreated to wild places for millennia to find inner peace and a greater perspective on life. Nature, in it’s simplicity and beauty, supports a profound relaxation in body, mind and soul.

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