Here's the Buzz
I like bees. I am fascinated by how a hive is organized, how they work, their importance to human development and survival in terms of pollination, honey, and utility of beeswax. Unless you are allergic to a sting, bees carry no diseases transmittable to humans. (Although a good friend of mine swears that his arthritis started getting better when he began keeping bees and getting stung a bit more often). I will not disturb or destroy a bee.
In Greece I found that bees were everywhere we went. Or maybe the bees found that I was where they were? In any event, Sit down for dinner, bees. Study on the balcony, bees. Talk with the sisters at the monastery? Yep, bees. In fact, while we were on the fishing trip, I had several bees land on my fingers and "nibble". It was a strange sensation to feel both the "nibble" and the buzzing of the wings. The owners of the boat found it surprising that I did not "panic". So, while I was surprised with the number of bee encounters I had in Greece, they never disturbed me.
I do not, however, like flies. Though they too have their use, in disposing of filth, I find them disturbing. Flies also carry diseases that can be passed on to humans. I will get rid of flies if they are buzzing around.
So I have to admit to a certain pleasure in reading this passage this week, as I thought about bees.
"Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want.” And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to.
Now, if you ask a honeybee, “Have you seen any unclean things in this area?” it will reply, “Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers.” And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or the meadow.
You see, the fly only knows where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful iris or hyacinth is.
As I have come to understand, some people resemble the honeybee and some resemble the fly. Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see no good anywhere. But those who resemble the honeybee only see the good in everything they see. The stupid person thinks stupidly and takes everything in the wrong way, whereas the person who has good thoughts, no matter what he sees, no matter what you tell him, maintains a positive and good thought."--- St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, “Good and Evil Thoughts,” Spiritual Counsels III: Spiritual Struggle.
By the Grace of God, may we all become more like the bee.