Driving out to the field there was excitement in my husband’s voice when he said; ‘let’s get our hives set up.’ Though, I could hear a hint of nervousness in his voice as well. You see, we are first time bee keepers and we have purchased enough bees to build four hives. Just so you know, that is approximately 12000 bees.
Bob and I had watched several teaching videos on how to introduce bees to their new hive. It looked simple enough, but trust me, when you are banging on a box filled with bees and shaking them to come out you can become a little anxious. Even though I was really only there for moral support we both had our gloves and protective veils on. However I became more passionate about the whole process as I began to see and hear the bees buzzing around. I only assume my prospective was probably a bit different than Bob’s, seeing that he was the one doing the shaking and banging.
In the video it suggested to place the box that they came in up by the hive entrance so that the few that were left behind could make their way into the hive over time. But we were also instructed, by the bee supply personal, to ‘plug’ the entrance of the hive with grass. This is serve several purposes; it gets the bee’s accustomed to their hive, it protects our bees from an aggressive hive take over, and it protects us (the beekeepers) from losing our investment by them flying off in the ‘clear blue yonder’. However we couldn’t do both, so we had decided that we would leave it open for a few hours and then I would go out and ‘plug’ the entrance.
I wasn’t nervous about doing this; I had put on my gloves, and walked out to the field. To my surprise there were a few outside the hive yet, probably 5-10 buzzing around each entrance. As I thought of plugging the hive and leaving the few outside made me sad. So I tried to gather them by having them climb onto my gloved finger and take them to the entrance. Eventually they would crawl off my glove and into the hole, some would stay inside but there were a few that would come back out. I would again get the little guy back onto my glove to place them at the hive entrance- but without success. After several attempts I was afraid I would hurt them and decided to stop trying. It is no use I thought to myself, these bees are clueless, and they just don’t understand what I am trying to do. I was trying to save them.
I know it sounds silly that I wanted to save the few bees left outside the hive, but these little guys would have to fend for themselves and I figured that they would probably end up dying because it was still cold. What really took me off guard though, was the fact of how much heartache I felt for them– I mean there were only just a few left and they were ‘bees’ for crying out loud.
As I walked back up to house I wondered why I was so sad? The thought of those bees suffering in the elements without protection, and the possibility of them dying, truly almost had me in tears. Then I instantly thought of the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4-7). I seriously cannot imagine the heartache God must feel for those who do not know him. A great price was paid for each person that breathes on this earth, but so many are busy ‘buzzing’ about their lives to give God any kind of consideration.
That is when I felt God impress on me that this is the kind of compassion HE wants me have toward his ‘lost bees’ (so to speak). I should be as gentle with them as I had by allowing the honey bee to crawl upon on my finger. Patiently loving people is all we need to do to lead them to eternal life.
Don’t be harsh just have compassion!