Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Charm for Catching a Swarm of Bees

We just don’t do things the same way as they did back in the day...perhaps 600+ years ago. Instead of attending a beekeeping seminar at a gardening show like the Yard, Garden & Patio Show, back in jolly old England there was a charm to encourage swarming bees to stay put in one’s garden so honey could be harvested and money could be made. I’ll share the charm, but instead of relying on it, I encourage you to look at the selection of 46 free seminars and demonstrations to be found at this year’s show. The beekeeping seminar will be taught by Glen Andresen on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. You’ll find other well-known speakers and a wide array of topics touching on right plant, right place; urban farming; sustainable gardening; garden design; floral arranging; and more. Now for the charm translated from old English by R.K. Gordon in 1934:

Charm for Catching a Swarm of Bees

Take earth, cast it with thy right hand under thy right foot, and say:
     I put it under foot; I have found it.
     Lo, the earth can prevail against all creatures,
     And against injury, and against forgetfulness,
     And against the mighty tongue of man.

Cast gravel (or earth) over them when they swarm, and say:
     Alight, victorious women, descend to earth!
     Never fly wild to the wood.
     Be as mindful of my profit
     As every man is of food and fatherland.

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