By then, it was too late to save the rest. I had to rely on an early spring but that didn't happen. The long cold damp weather seemed to go on forever! So when April finally rolled around, I found I had one active living hive. I had spent weeks cleaning boxes, replacing frames and foundation to try to salvage what was left!
Deciding to split my survivor hive, I drove to Spencer, OH and bought 4 queens. Inviting Rev. Zeke to help, we split the big hive into 4 total hives, adding a new queen to each split. I think he enjoyed helping even, as I opened the big hive, allowing 1000s of bees to fill the air. "Whoa!" was all he said and later Zeke progressed to carrying full frames of bees to new boxes, creating new colonies.
All 4 colonies began to build after the new queens were released and they started laying eggs. In 20 days or so there were new hatches that built the new colonies up to the point they began to set aside capped honey for me to steal later. About a month later, I again split the survivor hive and started a fifth colony! The workers released the new queen and began building and bringing in nectar and pollen.
Checking the colonies later in the year, I found the survivor hive had two full boxes of capped honey and the new colonies were putting away nectar to be turned into honey.
So where is there a spiritual point in all I've written so far? How do we humans connect to the workings of honey bees?
It is in the process! Working with an insect and using nature! By not attempting to go against those laws but working with them! Bees naturally want to grow new colonies. That is what swarming is all about. Yet swarms are almost always out of control. Beekeepers have no idea where the swarm is intending to fly to create a new colony so they must capture the swarm if possible and place it into a new set of hive boxes. By splitting the survivor hive, I took the pressure of swarming away. And it did not swarm!
So it is with ministry! If we try to go against the needs of people who have no food, clothing, a place to stay before we attempt to just speak of a loving God as shown to us in the life of Jesus Christ, we will fail! A person who knows s/he is loved by having the basic needs met will form a trust level to listen to our words about Jesus! We can also help this process along by sharing our spiritual journey! And we ALL have personal journeys to share!
I look at working with bees as a joyful experience yet the work is not always successful because there are many problems along the way. And speaking joyfully about my spiritual journey is fulfilling, knowing and sharing about past setbacks because the end result is peace, love, and a knowledge I might be in line of an eternal life through the grace our my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!