Sunday Sketch: Telling the Bees

Humans have kept honey bees for about as long as we have been farming. Given our history of working alongside these tireless pollinators, some fun and interesting traditions are bound to arise. One folk tradition originating in Europe is the practice of “telling the bees” in which a beekeeper would talk to their bee hives and keep them up to date on all of their big life events. Specifically, newly wed beekeepers would introduce their spouse to their bees after the wedding and some beekeepers would leave a slice of wedding cake by the hive for the bees. In the event of sad occasions, such as a death in the family, the bees were also notified in various ways to ensure they could properly mourn.

Sketch by Neetha Iyer. Fact contributed by Adrian Perez.

Source: Burnside, J., 2015. Apiculture: Telling the bees. Nature521(7550), p.29.

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