I have been a companion of bees for a number of years; this relationship has walked hand in hand with my shamanic path. I see that bees hold a wisdom which humanity is reaching for, such is the rise of interest in “bee keeping”. How we listen and interpret this wisdom though is an individual journey to take. I would like to offer that bees as an expression of nature hold a great wisdom and this is a story of how my recent encounter with two colonies of bees and a group of humans moved and shaped my life into a new direction, one that I am sure the bees orchestrated. I recently was involved in bringing two colonies of bees to a large working community of people close to where I live. The community decided on the new site for the bees as I carried a hive with a friend I recall saying “we have the whole universe in our hands!”. When I am with a colony of bees I am in awe of the way they operate and something happens deep inside me a quiet and stillness comes to me. My approach to being a companion with bees is to build a relationship with them, observe and listen and ask of the bees what is needed, as well as using shamanic journeys to meet the spirit of the bees both of the individual hives and the spirit of bee, along with conversation with supportive people this offers a rich source of information to support the bees . Any interventions are then done using the information gained from these methods and offered as sensitively as possible with minimal and only necessary interventions. Both hives from this way of listening were calling for space which I gave to them by increasing the size of the hive, very quickly one colony began to thrive. The other colony I soon realised came with no queen and was struggling. I used my methods to find a solution that involved the bees input and would sit with the hives regularly and watch their comings and goings. Then there were murmurings from the community that bees were coming to the flowers and they were worried about being stung! I spoke with people in the hope of reducing the fear. Then one day I arrived and the hives had been rearranged, another bee person came looked at them and decided that everything was “wrong!”. Honey was taken from the hives and the space the bees were asking for was removed and the colonies were split! The original idea of the bees being allowed to be as a support for the land was over and a farming and resource approach was imposed. On a personal level the pain I felt was deep and strong the grief of how we relate to the earth opened up in me through this experience; I fell into a immense sadness. I called out to find a solution from the spirit of bee, I got no clear answer yet the following events unfolded. I spoke with a number of people and out of these discussion I went to meet a woman who has a number of hives all kept in a natural beekeeping way. When I arrived she had a visitor and I was left to be with the bees, soon I went deep inside and felt a connection with the bees and from feeling the aliveness of the garden I understood the impact the bees were having on the land and environment I was standing in as well as me as part of the environment for these moments. When she returned I listened to a number of stories about her experiences with bees, as I listened the grief I was still feeling started to drain away and by the time it came for me to leave I was with a great admiration for her and the bees as well as full of joy and inspiration. I left with a understanding that I had never experienced before and what I dreamed was possible with bees I now had just experienced. I felt how bees shape land and environment they really are alchemists. As a result I am now involved in discussions about setting up some kind of advocacy service for natural bee keeping here in Scotland. On a personal level as someone who is inclined to be a lone worker, this involvement with the bees has opened up something in me of working with others with both the advocacy service as well as the synchronicity of being asked to be a trustee of a biodynamic garden. It seems my involvement of working with bees directly as well as with the spirit of bees has opened and shaped a new direction in my life and old patterns are slipping away. Jaqueline Freeman in her excellent book “the song of increase” talks of the hive as a holy place. I met the hive each time as a sacred encounter and trusted in the wisdom the bees held and worked with the guidance both of the hive bees and the spirit of bee offered. My role as human was to listen and shape the environment to support the bees as they did there magic to the land. I also became unexpectedly a voice using language that met the people involved for this way of being with bees, a voice that largely was met with silence. This experience has changed me and new projects are on the horizon as a result. I understand this has come from an encounter with the wisdom the bees hold and meeting the bees in this holy place and maybe orchestrated by the spirit of the bee itself. I know when we engage with spirit our life will change and my story with the bees I see as a direct example of working with shamanism as opening a sacred relationship with life one I keep saying is much needed in the times we live in. So while it was a deeply distressing experience personally so much is opening from this and I can only wonder that this was orchestrated by the bee spirit? The group that made decisions about the bees decided to move them away from the community as there was too much concern about the bees being with the flowers! I wonder what there experience of this has brought to there life? Shamanism is rooted in the earth and offers a respectful encounter with life and one that is earth centred if we can open to find the questions and listen well to the answers that spirit and nature gifts us our relationship with the earth changes which brings us to a more natural rhythm. In Natures Sovereignty we work with the understanding that “nature is the best manager of nature” if we can listen and allow this to be so, and act for the earth and all life what kind of world would this be and what would we humans become as a result? It would be a radical move away from how society is now but the wisdom may well be with us if we can listen.