I was speaking with a friend today about the nature of range management and the restoration of California grasslands. Thinking about what California used to be like when the land was stewarded by its people. Thinking about the effects of non-native grasses or the loss of habitatfor our wild creatures.
I woke up Monday morning to sirens, smoke and a litany of texts from concerned family and friends. The first text I read was from my housemate telling me Santa Rosa, the city where I live, was on fire. The city itself. Within minutes I was dressed and throwing belonging into my car, searching the blackened skyline for flames, and trying to find out if I was in immediate danger.
The dreams were waking me up at night. Black widows inside my home. Black widows all over the ceiling. Black widows building webs closer and closer to me. No way out. I am not particularly afraid of spiders, although I am cautious of black widows, having grown up in an old 1930s home. I tried to reason out why I was having these nightmares. I read about black widow symbolism. I questioned my relationship to spider, web and venom. For two weeks my nights were filled with the dark ladies. Then, one morning, after other terrifying infestation dream, I opened my eyes and said aloud “It’s my bees. There is a black widow inside my hive.”
This morning I sat in a garden teaming with the birds and the bees. Humming birds noisily darted between creeping vines of nasturtiums, red raspberries hung plump and inviting from semi-orderly thickets, honeybees swooned in the fuzzy clumps of borage, and zucchini’s performed their summer competition for Most Alarmingly Large Vegetable.
So you want to keep bees, but aren’t quite sure where to start? When I decided to become a beekeeper, I had just barely managed to squeeze a weekend class and some dedicated YouTubing under my belt before I received an unexpected swarm call and my new life began. Catching my first swarm was exhilarating, intimidating and required a lot of patients. I made some mistakes, but the bees ended up safely settled into their new top bar hive, and I, beaming, fell utterly in love.
In Northern California there is still snow in the hills and rain on the weather forecast. However, despite the winter chill, it’s time to start thinking about getting bees. Regardless of where you live, late winter is the time most local bee breeders start selling bee packages and nuc. You wont receive your bees until the spring, but if you want to ensure you’re going to get bees this season, it’s best to buy them now.
My dream of the apiary exist at the Natural Beekeeping Trust. A place of serenity and joy, filled with the life-affirming site of flowers, colorful hives and humming bees. On an brilliant autumn day in September, the sky is clear and the sunshine awakens hives to a prosperous day of foraging.
Melissa bends low and plucks a small herb growing out of the cobble stones in front of her house. She holds it up to the light and shows me the tiny perforated holes in the leaves.
“That’s how you can tell it’s the medicinal St. John’s Wort.”
On site visits to your hives or potential hive location to assist you in deepening your connection to bees.
For new beekeepers or curious clients
Phone sessions assisting you with your dreaming in relationship to the honey bee. Meant to be used as a tool for personal growth and dream work development.
Working with Ariella has been a deeply empowering and refreshing experience. The way that she relates to bees is woven in with our own personal work and becomes about not only an honoring of the hive as a whole, but an honoring of ourselves as well. Ariella has dedicated her heart and many years of her life to working with bees and it shows in the way that she shares this knowledge as well as in the way that she works with the hive. Beekeeping is so needed right now, and I couldn’t recommend her more highly as a solid, steady presence in supporting each of us to find our own way in honoring and working with bees.
Hive Style: Top Bar Hive
Ariella helped me with my first hive. She brought my bees all the way out to me, described the process thoroughly, and aided me throughout installation. Her calming effect was felt, not only by me, I am sure, but to the honeybees too. I have a thriving hive that made it through summer and its first winter. She gave me the confidence to walk the path of a beekeeper with a different stride than I had originally imagined. One of tenderness and devotion. I spend my first year as a beekeeper deeply entranced by the power of the beehive and I can attribute that to the sweet beginning that my hive was able to have thanks to Ariella.
Hive Style: Top Bar Hive
Ariella's 'Dreaming with Bees' course helped me to relate to my dreams in a whole new way. Working with other women in this course and having the chance to share dreams, listen to dreams, and reflect different perspectives and intuitive hits to each other was invaluable. Not only was it really FUN, but I was astonished by the insights and wisdom that came through every single time. I learned so much about how to really LISTEN to dreams and their messages from a deeply embodied place, rather than just analyzing the symbols in a completely cerebral way.
Ariella's wisdom and guidance throughout this course is what made it exceptional. She held the container in a way that was heartfelt, authentic and fun. Her experience, wisdom and passion for these subjects is obvious and infectious. The way that she weaves the teaching of the honeybee, goddess wisdom, embodied knowing, and the realm of dreams is seamless and insightful. She is deeply intuitive, and has a way of reflecting back dreams that cuts right to the meaty heart of things.
I took Ariella's Dreaming with Bees course earlier this year and have continued to do private sessions with her regularly ever since. This work isn't just an enriching experience but it's profound healing at the source. As an herbalist I've come to believe that the root of disharmonies in the physical body manifest first as a disharmony in the subtle body at the spiritual and emotional level. What I find special about Ariella's work is that she guides you towards the ability to further tap into your own intuition so you can gain tools to continue to connect with your own spirit, your deep self, all while connecting very deeply with the beautiful and mystical subtleties of the natural world. As you embark on this journey, you'll find deep healing that will impact your relationship to yourself first, and then to the rest of the world around you. I can't recommend her or her classes enough. Truly life changing.