If you’d rather hear about the energies of spring in the hive and how that relates to our own lives, I invite you to check out a fun episode from my Full Heart Free Voice Podcast where my co-host Emma Basu and I talk about the push and pull energy of spring. You will learn about bees, plants, intuition, the importance of taking action on the thing you are called to do, and more!
At the end of the podcast I mention the democratic process of bees voting on a new place to live while swarming which I research further and wrote about at the end of this blog under the heading ” How honeybees decide on a new home”, if you’d like to know more!
Spring in the Hive…
Bees enter spring in a mostly contracted survival state. For much of winter they have been tightly clustered together, keeping incredibly still except for the gentle pumping of their flight muscles to generate heat, moving only when they need to eat, or care for the queen. However, on warmer winter and early spring days the bees are able to occasionally break cluster and move about the hive but will frequently need to re-cluster when the weather turns cold again, especially in Colorado where it is not unusual for us to have 60 degree days in December and a freak snow storm in May. But even with the unpredictable weather, as the days grow longer and consistently warmer, the bees are largely able to resume their usual tasks. (See previous blog for more information: “Winter In the Hive: Wisdom From the Bees to Your Inner Hive“)
For both bees and humans, early spring is a time of stirring, awakening, anticipation, and impatience for the Inner Hive. After a long period of winter stillness and dreaming, spring brings about a deep desire to move, to plan, to make things happen and break out of our contracted winter state. As the earth begins to awaken there is a vibration as if we can feel the plants growing beneath the soil and we, and the bees, experience an internal tension, all desiring to get back to a different aspect of ourselves than what our winter lives are conducive to. For many of us, spring energy can bring about a feeling of finally being ready to begin a project, take a step towards a dream or goal but, we can also find ourselves frustrated because the timing or the conditions may not yet be right. Winter for the Inner Hive may at times persist, showing it’s frosty face here and there until the spring truly gets her footing.
Like the bees who are anxious to get out of their hives, to taste new flowers, and stretch their wings, warm spring days feed into their restlessness only to be driven back into their hives by spring snow and rain. Spring often oscillates between expansive energy and sudden winter like stillness and we have to be patient. We have to remind ourselves that the setbacks, or pauses rather, are temporary. The winter energy will once again thaw, the snow will melt, and it will surely be spring for the hive once again.
On warm early spring days, bees set off in search of freshly bloomed flowers only to find that most of the earth has not yet fully woken up. Other bees diligent clean the hive, clearing out the dead and the debris, anything that is no longer useful, or is detrimental to the health and cleanliness of the hive.
As humans we get this urge too. We’ve been cooped up inside with all our “stuff” both internal and external and spring feels like a natural time to shed the things that weigh us down and detract from our happiness. It’s also a time to examine anything that stands as a barrier, blocking our vision for our lives, and intentionally clear it away.
Early spring is a time to be especially gentle with yourself. There will be days you feel the winter stillness creep in so give yourself permission to move slowly when necessary. Bearing in mind that you are never truly still, like the plants and the bees you are stirring in ways not yet visible. This is a time for small steps, to plan, to clear out your home, shed non-fulfilling obligations, and relationships that just don’t quite fit and taking the time to accept that you may not yet be fully ready for whatever is to come next, whether it is to bloom or fly, but you are getting ready.
And then there comes a time in late spring when you have cleared, and prepared and feel as though you will burst from anticipation. All this time beneath the surface, out of sight, just like the bees, you have been preparing, your Inner Hive has made it through the winter strong and bursting with potential. You have grown internally just as the bees have grown in numbers and you all realize you have out grown your winter box. You have collected your courage, your research, your desire-the bees have collected their pollen and nectar. The pressure is at its breaking point and the bustling colony and your personal desire to break out of the winter quietness has reach the boiling point and so you all choose to act, you take a chance.
For the bees this energy manifests as a swarm, when a bee colony has grown in number so great they no longer fit in their current home. More than half of the bees chose to leave the colony to find a new place to live with the original queen, the rest will stay and raise a new queen. Regardless of the choice, there is uncertainty for all. Will the bees who stay be able to raise a new strong and productive queen? Will those who leave find a safe new home? The swarming, this expansion is so ingrained in their nature that it is necessary and vital and ultimately allows for the potential growth of the species. Even though there is a chance of failure it never occurs to the bees not to try nor would ever occur to a seed not to try to germinate. Just as it is necessary for you to take a chance, to create, to do something with this expansive potential and grow even when the future is uncertain. You cannot remain in a contracted winter state any longer. Your Inner Self can’t bear not trying to do whatever it is you are called to do regardless of the outcome.
The swarming process is chaotic as an observer. It is mind boggling how thousands of bees flying in every which direction will all come to rest in the same place, but they do. Sometimes our own process of expansion or creation may not seem to make sense to others (or ourselves for that matter) until, it does. After the chaotic departure from the hive, bees come to a temporary pause. Together they rest clinging to one another, interestingly, often in a very similar ovular shape as a winter cluster, and they wait until a collective decision is made about where they will build their new hive (see below for more info on how bees democratically vote on where they want to live!!!) and gracefully and cohesively the colony will fly off together following the directions of a scout bee to their new home, to their new beginning.
Late spring energy is about new beginnings but it is also about remembrance that part of yourself must be left behind as the bees must leave part of their colony behind. It is a time of new growth, but a time to honor that which has helped you reach this point as the bees honor their sisters who they have left behind. Just like a plant whose leaves have died back last year and fallen to the ground just above its roots, for months the plant’s very leaves are breaking down, providing it with nutrients, feeding it’s future expression of itself. All the pieces that came before, all the pieces you have shed, helped bring you to this point.
This is Spring in your Inner Hive.
Regardless of the season, you may experience the qualities of spring energy within your own Inner Hive. Embrace it, be patient, act when you can no longer stand to not, take chances, welcome new beginnings even when the future is uncertain.
How honeybees decide on a new home:
During the swarming process, more than half of a colony will leave the hive with the original queen. The remaining bees will stay behind and raise a new queen. The swarming colony, shortly after leaving their original home will come to rest in a large ball on a tree branch or some other object. They will stay in this spot while several scout bees go out in search of suitable new homes. When the scout bees return to the swarm cluster they preform what is called a “waggle dance” which consists of the scout bees dancing and shaking in a figure eight type of motion which the other bees interpret through vibration. Based on the pace, length and level of enthusiasm of the dance allows the other bees to personally choose whether they believe one scout bee’s potential home location is better than the other. The bees will then democratically decide which scout bee they feel has found the best home by in essence “voting”. In the event of a “tie” the bees will essentially debate through dancing and will even head butt each other making a loud “beep” noise to interrupt the other bees dance until one bee has gained even the slightest majority of support from the colony over the other, and the decision is made! Isn’t that amazing! We as humans could learn a thing or two. 🙂
Happy Spring and Vernal Equinox!
Hello, I’m Caitlin Bosshart! Beekeeper, life coach for the multi-passionate at heart and wedding coach for couples planning non-traditional weddings! I believe that no one should settle for less than a life that lights them up, ignites their passions and allows them to be, their most vibrant authentic selves.
To learn more about how we can work together, visit: CaitlinBosshart.com
To schedule a free discovery session for multi-passionate coaching or wedding coaching, email me at LifeCoaching@caitlinbosshart.com!