This particular bee was either asleep, drunk on nectar, or just taking a nap, as it stayed on the flower for over 2 hours, giving the occasional lackadaisical wave of its antennae. Even with the bee at rest it wasn’t an easy photograph – the flowers have very long stems and wave around in the slightest breeze.
Recent research shows that flowers produce an electric field when they are full of pollen and nectar, and that bees have a sensor for this field. This helps the bee to precisely and quickly locate the centre of the flower, and also to avoid flowers which, although they may look in full bloom, are not yet ready or have been visited by other bees. Once its store has been depleted by visiting insects, the flower’s electric field drops, sending out an ’empty’ signal.
Science is discovering more and more examples of this kind of cooperation and communication in Nature, at the sensitive physical level. What is exciting to me is the communication that exists at the subtle energetic level, where everything has a vibration that can be tuned into. The Universe is alive, simply buzzing with energy and information.
‘An Invisible Bee’
Look how desire has changed in you,
how light and colorless it is,
with the world growing new marvels
because of your changing.
Your soul has become an invisible bee.
We don’t see it working,
but there’s the full honeycomb.
Your body’s height, six feet or so,
but your soul rises through nine levels of sky.
A barrel corked with earth
and a raw wooden spile
keeps the oldest vineyard’s wine inside.
When I see you,
it is not so much your physical form,
but the company of two riders,
your pure-fire devotion and your love
for the one who teaches you.
Then the sun and moon on foot behind those.
– Rumi, ‘A Year with Rumi’ translated by Coleman Barks