Sunday, 2 May 2010

the buzz about bees

Honeybee swarming season is upon us again and I collected a swarm from a garden in the Pells last week. The bees are now safe and cosy in a beautiful Abbe Warre top bar beehive made by my Lewes beekeeper friend Mike Millwood. Abbe Warre was an abbot, living around 1900, who spent his life experimenting on 350 different hive designs to find the best kind of hive for bees to be live in naturally and with minimal intervention. The design allows bees to make their own foundation and comb and it assumes bees will swarm. The whole art of natural beekeeping is observation. Needless to say, I’ve been sitting on a little log near the hive observing the bees (and they have been observing me).

My new hive is on my allotment on Landport. Blessings on Steve Brigden, the Town Clerk. I asked him if I could keep bees on the allotment and he then all Lewes allotment holders whether they object to honeybees being kept on allotments. As far as I know, there were no objections, only replies of delight, and Steve is now writing a new clause in the allotment contract allowing bees to be kept on all Lewes allotments.

Three other lovely things have happened this week. First, I heard the great news that the North St industrial estate has been redesignated functional flood plain by the Environment Agency. The definition of functional floodplain is land where water has to flow or be stored in times of flood. Which effectively means no new build on almost the entire area. Presumably for the duration of the transition, in other words, a long time. So Angel Properties and the likes will never be able to get their hands on Lewes land. Hooray!

Industrial land like this shouldn’t be built on. It’s meant to be flexible and open for use by the creative, local livelihoods that are emerging as a result of the transition. There’s already a lot of local employment in the area. Some of the warehouses, such as Zu, Pop-up and Arthole, are already buzzing hubs of innovation. Hooray for Lewes Matters, Phoenix Action and the Lewes Community Land Trust. Hooray for Marco Crivello, Anthony Dicks and John Stockdale, our local heroes.

On Sunday I heard Satish Kumar (founder of Resurgence and Schumacher College) give an extraordinary sermon at Glynde Church in a service led by radical pilgrim vicar Peter Owen-Jones. He spoke of the difference between people who are like tourists in this world, seeking what they can get from life, consuming. And people who are pilgrims, who celebrate life and seek to enter a relationship with all beings.

Tomorrow morning I accompany Steph Bradley, a Transition storyteller, on a walk out of Lewes towards Forest Row. She has walked from Totnes along the footpaths over the last month, and is walking around England for six months, visiting about 200 of the transition towns and cities in England, listening to and sharing our stories. Steph is an Earth pilgrim, documenting and celebrating England in transition in 2010.

1 comment:

Herbal Alchemy said...

hi Adrienne, i wanted to see what you had written about the bees. Its a lovely bee hive the one on Marianna's garden , it look like it needs an extra section to be as tall as yours. If you havn't already have a look at my blog.
lots of love haskel