An Environmental Machinima film based on Willi Paul’s modern myth, The Bee Cave Spirits; ( http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1638 )
Set in a post Distopian society of a not too distant future, this film introduces the cause of bees and their integral value to the eco-sphere.
Bees in Traditional Culture;
Throughout history in many world cultures a mystical relationship to honeybees can be found.
In the Ancient world the Great Mother was known as the Queen Bee and her priestesses were called Melissae.
They served the Bee Goddesses and functioned as Oracles carrying the golden wisdom of the Goddess to her people.
The honeycomb was even considered by the Greek Pythagoreans to be a symbol of the Goddess’ qualities of love and harmony, because of its hexagonal shape which in being composed of two triangles, one pointing upwards (Fire) and the other downwards, (Water) symbolized the perfect union between the opposites.
The Druids of Northern Europe reverenced the bees for their ability to pollinate flowers and crops, which was regarded as a sacred charge because honey was seen as a precious gift from the Mother Goddess herself.
Many Native American Indian tribes also used honey and other bee by-products, including the early Maya and Aztec Indians who kept bees and collected honey from the wild bees.
However the bee population of North America and Europe is now in serious decline, which threatens disaster to our food crops as they are dependent upon the bees to pollinate them.
The increase of commercial agriculture with its use of pesticides and destruction of wild plants and flowers upon which the bees forage upon contributed to this problem.
As bees are then an indicator of cross species health on ‘Mother Earth’, they are interestingly also an allegory for mankind’s psychological and spiritual well-being…
Permaculture, based on ecological and biological principles, is a holistic approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies, harmoniously integrating the land with all of its inhabitants.
Whilst it is understood that earlier peoples did farm in cooperation with the Earth and her seasonal cycles, that for example the Druids in the North and other social leaders did much to manage and advise their communities on how and when to sow and tend crops and animals, following ‘modern’ Industrialization these techniques had been abandoned in favor of faster turn around of product for the market.
In our time however, Bill Mollison, who could be called the instigator of a Quiet Revolution, launched with his book Permaculture One (1978) an international resurgence of land-use structured on cooperation with nature.
( http://www.scottlondon.com/interviews/mollison.html )
Within this Permaculture system, the ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all included, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored.
The fundamental ‘core values’ of Permaculture are often summarized as;
1. Earthcare – recognising that the Earth is the source of all life (is possibly itself a living entity — see the Gaia theory) and that we are a part of Earth, not apart from it.
2. Fairshare – in which animals are treated as co-habitators and co-workers of the Earth, eating foods normally unpalatable to people such as pests ie slugs and termites, and supplying valuable mineral rich fertilizer through their droppings.
3. Natural Energy use: e.g. employing a cave for preservation due to its ideally dry, dark and warm conditions, using the integration of co-operative crops rather than weeding as the growth of field flowers among corn allows the bees to better pollinate, and employing some ‘weeds’ to keep others at bay due to the nature of their chemical interaction with the soil, thus avoiding pesticides and chemicals which undermine the Earths ability to host its cycle of growths, in contrast to more usually practiced Industrial Agriculture which intensively exploits the soil, plants and animals.