As this is International Women’s Week, I thought to dedicate a small article in celebrating the female guardians of bees.
Especially important this month is March the 8th, International Women’s Day. In honor of this day, I would like to celebrate all women beekeepers and affiliates who are playing such an important part in saving the bees!
In 2009, apart from a First Lady, the White House also got its First Hive! First Lady, Michele Obama, requested a beehive be installed in the gardens, which former White House carpenter provided from his own bees.
As far as Hollywood celebrities go, Scarlett Johansson tops the charts. After vocally representing and expressing the urgency to protect the bees, without which “the planet was going to die”, Samuel L Jackson, close friend and fellow beekeeper, gave her a beehive for her wedding gift. That was it.
Scarlett, however, was not the first to receive a beehive as a wedding gift. Dr Eva Crane and her husband had also received a beehive, a gift that was hoped would help supplement their wartime sugar ration. Although trained as a quantum mathematician, Dr Crane found herself changing interest and later spending more than 50 years researching honeybees, traveling to more than 60 countries in search of learning more about them. With more than 180 published papers and some of the most important books on bees and apiculture, including “The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting” (1999), Dr Crane was described by The Times of London as “queen bee among bee experts”.
The world-known Sound of Music, is based on Maria von Trapp’s autobiography, a very real story in which Maria also becomes a beekeeper! After the Von Trapp family moved to America and established a farm in Stowe, Vermont, Maria started beekeeping. The Trapp Family Lodge is still operational and is open to those who wish to visit.
Famous poet, Sylvia Plath, was inspired by her father and continued the family tradition of beekeeping later I her life. In her bees, Plath found inspiration and wrote five poems in which she explored her beekeeping experience. As spring is approaching, this line is particularly befitting-
“The bees are flying. They taste the spring.
– ”Wintering”, Sylvia Plath
Thank you to all women who in your own way are spreading the bee-love, be it by making your gardens bee-havens, by supporting local beekeepers, by being beekeepers, or raising them and by reading this blog and talking about it with friends and family. Thank you. 🙂