An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of February 19, 2012
Issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort adjoining Chichén Itzá Ruin in
YUCATÁN, MÉXICO

ON BEING STUNG BY BEES

Being stung by seven bees got me thinking about how Nature is organized so that such things happen. Everyone reflects on the fact that the fox eats the rabbit despite the rabbit's big, gentle eyes, cutely twitching nose and cuddly fur. Foxes are nice, too, though, so we just leave the thinking there, mostly siding with the rabbit, but willing to let the fox have his due.

This thing with the seven bee stings was different. For, "normal" honeybees I've known all my life wouldn't have so aggressively attacked me as did these Africanized ones. My stings that day were the result of a feature of Nature much more abstract, nuanced and interesting than something as simple as the predator/prey relationship.

I was attacked so aggressively because new genetic coding is dispersing throughout the honeybee genome, coding compelling it bearers to more energetically defend their colony than "normal" bees. As this updated programming changes the honeybee world, the species is refining itself, becoming more effective at what it does, and presumably enhancing its chances of surviving as a species.

What's pretty about it is that this new aggressiveness is so utterly harmonious with the most fundamental of Nature's impulses: To explode something out of nothing, to rampage forward evolving, struggling, fighting for ever more diversity, ever more breathtaking interconnectedness, ever greater feeling, thinking, imagining and aggressiveness...

But, what's really beautiful about it is that I'm sitting here realizing its prettiness and sharing that insight with you.

For, what we're doing here is Sixth-Miracle stuff -- "thinking and feeling in ways not programmed in our genes." If I were limiting myself to Fifth-Miracle instinctual mentality I'd be angry with the bees, want revenge, want to wipe them out, for anger and the drive for dominance are Fifth-Miracle phenomena, the kind of thinking upset monkeys, raccoons or even snakes might do.

But, I am a disciple of the Six Miracles of Nature aspiring for full membership in the domain of the Sixth Miracle. As such, I do here ceremonially forgive the honeybees their stings, do in fact offer witness to the beauty of having been so honestly and sincerely stung, do thank and pay homage to the little bees who stung me and died because of it, and most deeply I do thank Nature Herself for having so intimately involved me in the singing of Her love song for life and more life in terms of buzz and sting and hurt.

As always, this Six Miracles business is outlined at http://www.backyardnature.net/j/6/.