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Honey bees have taught me so much about boundaries. They have taught me how to be more direct and use my voice. 
As Beekeepers, we are taught to suit up and enter a hive on our time and our agenda. The bees may not like it, but who cares, we’re protected and we know what they need best. We’re only her to help. Or take some honey. No big deal.
Wrong.
When we practice actually listening to the bees, we discover that there are days when the bees are calm and sweet. Crawling over your bare hands, humming their life-giving song. Then there are days with simply cracking open the lid causes a flurry of annoyance from the hive. You get bumped a few times. Consider it a warning. Sometimes they don’t even bother with a bump and go straight for sting. You don’t know their inner workings. Don’t pretend to assume. Listen to them. Bees know their boundaries and if you are not fully present and fully attuned to them, you will get stung. It doesn’t get more clear than that. They are excellent teachers in the word “No”. They are exquisite in their precision and directness.
As a result we need to be more attentive to our listening skills. Remember, always, that when you open a beehive you are entering a body. You must ask permission. You must do your very best to discern if now is a good time for the bees or just convenient for you. We must seek to learn from them, rather than being voyeuristic.
Bees have taught me about my own boundaries around consent and what happens when those boundaries are violated. They have taught me that there is an appropriate time for sting. And they have taught me that even if another person pushes my “No”, gaslights me, or tries to tell me my “No” is anything other than my “No”, I can, and will, use my voice to make that “No” carry the power of 50,000 stinging sisters who’ve taught me a thing or two about sovereignty.

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