I had to get up real close and personal to capture the first two photos of a yellow-faced bumble bee. They are docile and peaceful by nature and tend to avoid human contact. However, if they feel cornered—with no avenue of escape—they will not hesitate to defend themselves.
These beneficial insects are native to California, and are important pollinator of plants. They are here to help and teach us, not to hurt us. Bumble Bees zig-zag from flower-to-flower collecting its nectar. Their wings beat around 130 times per second. This allows them to perform a unique service called "buzz pollination," vibrating flowers until they release pollen. The pollen then attaches to its sensitive hind legs. The large load they collect is carried in “pollen baskets” which are dish-shaped indentations on their hind legs. The pollen is then passed onto other flowers, creating a process of fertilization.
The bumble bee symbolizes community, brightness and lightness of being. They remind us to slow down, smell the flowers and taste the sweet nectar of life. Their dance-like plant-to-plant movement represents the interconnectedness of all living things. Bumble bees are wise messengers
bringing the secrets of life and service. They teach us to be mindfully focused with the matter at hand, and to be fully engaged in our creative endeavors. They symbolize being productive while the sun is shining and to extract and savor the sweetness of life. Many ancient cultures considered bees to be messengers of the gods.
The following poem by Khalil Gilbran speaks to the reciprocal relationship of giving and receiving between the bee and the flower:
“…Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, but it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. For to the bee, a flower is a fountain of life, and to the flower, a bee is a messenger of love, and to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.”
Photo credit 3: chumcubo.com (bee on gold flower)
Photo credit 4: Liam O'Brien (bee on spike lavender flower)
Quote credit 5: Mary Kay Ash (Aerodynamically...)