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Of Bees and Beasts

January, 21 2013

Of Bees and Beasts

As some of you may know, Rudolf Steiner's "9 lectures on Bees", given to  the workmen at the Goetheanum in 1923, became an impulse in my life when I was only 25 years old.. Five years after the first reading of these lectures and raising bees, they led me to become a Waldorf Art and practical Arts teacher, a calling which I have since followed for the past 29 years. Although I was not always able to keep bees myself, due to outer circumstances such as the location of my residence and local laws regulating the keeping of such "dangerous livestock", whenever possible, I would "hive" a swarming colony and explore the mysteries of such a "Bien". To hive a colony simlply means to catch a swarm and establish it in a box. These hives would often end up in the garden of a Waldorf School where students then could observe and learn from and about bees. It has always been important to me to bring children close to the workings of these incredible Sun Beeings and now that we are in this beautiful, remote Wilderness along Last Chance Road in Big Basin, the apiary becomes a special focus point of all educational efforts. Here at Pine Mountain Arts we are creating a bee sanctuary, where students of all ages are able to learn about bees, the environment, and themselves. I am hoping that this blog will give you the possibility of following our striving. As the title "Of Bees and Beasts" indicates, it will not be limited to bees, nor to beasts.I am inviting you to send comments and questions via our contact page e-mail if you wish, as we explore.

The very Beginnings

I started to keep bees first in 1976 after arriving on the east coast of the United States from Germany.

At first it was the longing for the sweet product of the hive, honey, which attracted me. Living in the large deciduous forests of West Virginia I occasionally came about swarms of feral bees living in hollow trees and wondered what it would take to hive such a swarm and to become a "Bienenvater", a bee father. After reading: The Hive and t