Here’s what I know.
Bees hatched in winter live longer than bees hatched in summer.
It’s a strange tid-bit of science that has certain traction in the apiarist world, just often without explanation.
(I tell my kid, you have to always ask ‘why?’)
Facts mean nothing without background explanation. You must always ask the ‘what for’ ahead of giving facts credence, before you make them law.
Here’s the thing about bees:
They work. You’ve heard the term, ‘worker bees.’ Bees work tirelessly, going from flower to flower, reporting back to the hive with legs draggedly hung with pollen. I’ve never heard of a tired bee.
Here’s what bees do not have that we do:
If we go to a gym and work out our muscles, essentially destroying fibre in the process, our bodies have ways of re-correcting. Our muscles become stronger in the re-build.
Bees don’t have this mechanism. Their muscles waste away without chance of a 2.0. They waste protein when dancing from bud to bud, collecting pollen on their hairy legs, and with the hive on their mind. Eventually, and after so much work, bees just collapse without any re-build.
It’s why you find bees inexplicably dead on the sidewalk.
Summer bees are busy in the readily available sun; winter bees hang back in the hive when the sun is not available.
With more kilometers in their metric, summer bees, busier ones, die earlier, having wasted their wings and legs far earlier than the winter hatchlings that hide in their hive.
Life gets measured, then, by distance and by effort, and not days. Think about that.
A friend of mine died in his sleep a few weeks ago. He’d worked forty years at my company, then died in the middle of the night, his heart stopped.
My boss tells me—and she has plans on retiring to No. Carolina to enjoy her sunset years—“I don’t wanna work, just to die. I want an afterwards.”
Yeah—you don’t want to be the bee on the sidewalk, the dumb fuzzy corpse without explanation, the thing that expired having just worked too hard.
I think of all those Japanese gentlemen who collapse in their cubicles, working so hard that they’re found head down on paperwork, bangs splayed, lungs quit.
The way of the bee is not the way to go.
Re-arrange the letters in ‘labor’. Add a few consonants.
Marie-Henri Beyle, pseudonym ‘Stendahl’, went to Florence in 1817. He saw Giotto’s frescoes, their tempura fade, and got dizzy. He fainted.
He wrote later about his case of the ‘nerves.’ He said: ‘Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling.’
Blood gone from the brain because the beauty was too much.
Ricky Fitz level. Essentially, too much.
But fainting from beauty is much better than being an exhausted shell of something, and why it’s best to not work till you die; be a St. Teresa quilled with ecstasy instead. A statue, a thing stopped in its vibrant recognition of absolute absoluteness. Don’t fear falling happy.
Here’s what I know.