The Discipline of Bees
I did my monthly hive check today. Both my hives seemed healthy and pest free which is how you want them to start summer. Today was the day I allotted to do it, so time wise I had to get it done, but they were a bit unhappy with me opening the lids. It’s been hot and wet here and it was already getting dark and thundering at 9:30 in the morning. I’m sure they could feel the barometer dropping and resented me interrupting their tight collection schedule.
I probably had distracted energy as well. I was thinking ahead to my practice and how I had so many other things to do maybe I should skip it. Except that I have my first kid’s class at the library coming up, and I needed to do a run through and see what I thought. So it was time to take a deep breath and focus on what I was doing.
One of the hives had a bit of dead grass in the entrance. It must have fallen when I cleaned away the grass that had been growing too close and several bees were diligently trying to drag it off the entrance ledge. Once I popped the lid, the whole hive was engaged in activity of course. One can’t watch a hive for any length of time without thinking of busy as a bee. They are nothing if not busy. Totally dedicated to the group effort, none of them ever takes a two martini lunch.
Patanjali’s sutra 2.1 starts with the word tapas (tapah svadhyaya ishvara-pranidhana kriya-yogah). This usually gets translated as austerity or heat. Within the context of svadhyaya (self-study), I’ve been applying it to myself as knowing where I’m weak and focusing my efforts in that area. I get distracted, I overextend myself, and I push too hard. Unlike in the hive, I don’t have a whole group of clones who’ve got my back. I need to focus on the task in front of me. I need to be able to work at a pace that I can maintain. I need to allow myself the right amount of time for a job to be done well. I need to keep the grass off my ledges, but not fall into the weeds in the attempt.
Of course once I got on my mat and actually started, my resistance fell away and it was a good practice. My class will go smoothly and I opened up my hips a bit. Just as for the bees, the rewards of your discipline are sweet. Yoga and beekeeping are alike after all.