By: Shazia Yousuf
As a child, I was extremely afraid of bees. When outside, in the garden, if I spotted even a single bee, I would rush back inside and not think of going out till I was sure it was gone. My father would casually laugh at this, and he would tell me that I was being silly, and that a small bee would not do anything to me. He would suggest holding my breath when a bee came near me and it would not sting. But I was a hundred percent sure this wasn’t true! I would ask him to spray insecticide on them so that I may play outside in peace. But he would keep himself busy with his work, casually ignoring my demand.
Now, after many years have passed, I have developed a passion for gardening. I spend hours in my small terrace garden, trimming and shaping my plants, potting them, fertilizing the soil and sowing new seeds. I have come to realize, my father was right. I have finally befriended bees!
Bees and I work together on the jasmine plant, in complete harmony! While the bees are busy feasting on the jasmine flowers dancing about from one flower to another in a rhythmic fashion, I carefully trim the plant or plough its soil, none of us is disturbing each other. All I need is to be a little gentle and accommodating, and understand their moves, and the rest is then easy.
This has been a learning experience for me. I have seen a glimpse of the law of coexistence and the harmony in nature; I have yet to explore more.
“And see, how your Lord has inspired the bee [a little social insect] to build its dwelling [hives] on hills, [mountains], trees, and on premises of human habitations.” (Al-Quran, Surah Nahl [The Bee] 16:68)
There is a lot to learn from these tiny, highly skilled, technically sound creations of the Lord. With Divine inspiration, these petite creatures instinctively construct a wonderful geometrical masterpiece, a honey comb, a perfectly proportional hexagonal wax cells with separate combs to rear their young ones; to turn nectar from flowers and fruit into sweet and delicious honey!
The bees are inspired by the Divine Being to organize themselves into a disciplined, Co-operative Society, for a collective effort to run the honey factory under the strong leadership of one Queen. We humans have yet to learn this.
My father was aware of this law of coexistence and co-operation; with experience I have realized it now. We all need to be inspired by these tiny bees who seek inspiration from the Divine Being. My daughter has yet to understand this, but I am sure a time will come when she and all others will understand it too.
I am hopeful, and I am waiting.