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Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Tribute to the Bee Charmer

My Father--The Bee Charmer
'Seeing only what is fair, sipping only what is sweet--leave the chaff, and take the wheat.' Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'The Humble-Bee'

The Humble Bee

Our father, 'Daddy' passed away September 4th, 2014. Like Emerson's 'humble-bee' he graced us with his humble yet dynamic presence for 98 years. 

Despite his powerful work persona--leading research in high energy physics and working with the Atomic Energy Commission and on the Manhattan Project--at home, he presented a quiet, unassuming image in his torn 20-year old flannel shirts, grease stained pants and straw hat with the front cut open 'for proper aeration'. 

When he arrived home from work he'd transition from his 'Roland Edward Meyerott' role to his 'Daddy/Rollie' role by changing his impeccable suits for his casual clothes and going straight out to spend time by himself tending the organic garden, animals and bees. I loved to greet him when he came home so I could check his pockets for brewer's yeast tablets.

The Bee Charmer

One of his many roles was that of the family Bee Charmer--he was the keeper of bees, collector of honey, and nurturer of the family hive. He kept beehives humming for 60 plus years, and his own family hive humming for 98 years.  

As a 'systems-thinker' Daddy had his system for everything. Perhaps that's why he admired and kept bees. Beehives can house 60,000 bees, collect 66 lbs of pollen a year, and are the model of system and organization. 

Raising Worker Bees

Perhaps Daddy modeled his own family hive on the beehive: 

'Honeybees represent a highly organized society, with various bees having very specific roles during their lifetime: e.g., nurses, guards, grocers, housekeepers, construction workers, royal attendants, undertakers, foragers, etc.'

He wanted a large 'hive' and certainly made sure his worker bees were kept busy and organized. 

The Bee Charmer taught us to be worker bees--industrious beings who make the world a sweeter place for others through our personal magic, diligence and dedication to the hive.

Growing up I didn't give much thought to how intimately bee culture was woven into our family's language and experience, but it was always present. 

Today in honor of the passing of our Bee Charmer, Daddy, I am sharing with you the collection of bee memories created by YOU that make me stop and think about 'our father who art now in heaven' (with his queen bee) that helped our hive keep humming and thriving. 

Please keep sending me your BEE related pictures, photos and memories. 

'Bee on Clover' photography by Sean Royce

Bee Happy--Bee Free--Bee Sweet

Memory: Do you remember as kids, when we walked into the kitchen or hot house, we'd see a fresh batch of honeycomb in a colander separating the honey from the comb? We'd walk by, break off a piece of honey-filled comb to pop into our mouth and let the sweetness of clover honey melt in our mouth. 

Memory: Do you remember when we weren't allowed to use sugar or syrup when we could use honey? I grew up taking bees and the honey they produced for granted because it was so plentiful in our home.

'Men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own.' Leonardo Da Vinci

The Queen Bee, Moo
'His labor is a chant, His idleness a tune; Oh, for a bee's experience of clovers and of noon!' Emily Dickinson

 Honey--Sweet as can be!

Mind Your Own Beeswax!

Emma forgot and was stung on the nose.

'To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.' William H Walton

Oh Bee-Have
Ain't Mis-Bee Hiving

'There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless.' Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Bee Still

'What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.' Pericles

Just Bee

'The holiest of all holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart: The secret anniversaries of the heart.' Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, what a lovely tribute to your dear father! He sounds like such a nice man. We women who had the benefit of good fathers are very fortunate.

Cynthia Kendall said...

Dearest Sue(cuz), what a wonderful tribute to your Father(The Bee Charmer). He was indeed a great father as well as a great man. He contributed a lot to our great Country while raising a beautiful and loving family. I missed out not getting to know him!