Dorothy Hodges was a trained artist with an artist’s acute powers of observation as well as being a beekeeper. In 1946 she had the idea of making a colour chat of pollen loads. It took several years for her ideas to gestate but the glorious outcome was the publication, by the then Bee Research Association, of The Pollen Loads of the Honeybee in 1952.
Designed as a very practical guide for beekeepers, the importance of the book was immense and it has long since risen from being a humble textbook and guide to a much sort after collectors’ item. Its rarity and importance mean that it is no longer easily obtainable and so difficult for the ordinary beekeeper to appreciate its contents. For this very reason IBRA has decided to reproduce Mrs Hodges’s delicate drawings of pollen grains as a separate publication and in so doh1g hopefully make her work known to other generations of beekeepers.
Although the painstakingly produced colour charts of the original book still have their value it would.not be possible to reproduce them with sufficient accuracy to do justice to the original work. However, the drawings lend them-selves to reasonable reproduction. They are of outstanding artistic merit and offer the possibility of identifying the pollen forms which are most frequently collected by bees. For beginners these drawings will do good service as an introduction to the pollen analysis of honey.
The drawings need no explanation other than a name – the family group, the Latin scientific name and the common English name – thus making the book independent of language barriers. This means it can be appreciated in many countries where the original work was unknown or is now out of reach because of rarity and cost.
The cover is taken from Dorothy Hodges own watercolour painting that she suggested might adorn the dust jacket of the original publication. The artwork was not used and so this booklet allows it to be seen publicly for the first time in almost sixty years.
Finally, for the convenience of the reader, the actual pollen drawings retain the same page numbers as the plates in the original book.
Winner of the 2005 Ashé Journal Book Award.
“After reading this book I felt I had been initiated into the ancient feminine mystery of sacred sexuality” Tori Amos, singer/songwriter.
Bee shamanism may well be the most ancient and enigmatic branch of shamanism. It exists throughout the world – wherever in fact the honeybee exists. Its medicinal tools – such as honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly – are now in common usage, and even the origins of Chinese acupuncture can be traced back to the ancient practice of applying bee stings to the body’s meridians.
In this authoritative ethnography and spiritual memoir, Simon Buxton, an elder of the Path of Pollen, reveals for the first time the richness of this tradition: its subtle intelligence; its sights, sounds, and smells; and its unique ceremonies, which until now have been known only to initiates. Buxton unknowingly took his first steps on the Path of Pollen at age nine, when a neighbour – an Austrian bee shaman – cured him of a near-fatal bour of encephalitis. This early contact prepared him for his later meeting with an elder of the tradition who took him on as an apprentice. Following an intense initiation that opened him to the mysteries of the hive mind, Buxton learned over the next thirteen years the practices, rituals, and tools of bee shamanism. He experienced the healing and spiritual powers of honey and other bee products, including the “flying ointment” once used by medieval witches, as well as ritual initiations with the female members of the tradition – the Melissae – and the application of magico-sexual “nektars” that promote longevity and ecstacy. ‘The Shamanic Way of the Bee’ is a unique view into the secret wisdom of this age-old tradition.
Simon Buxton is a beekeeper, the British faculty for Dr. Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and the founder / director of The Sacred Trust, a UK-based educational organisation dedicated to the teaching of practical shamanism for the modern world. He lives in England and teaches internationally.
This wonderful book shares techniques on successful microscopy accompanied by illustrations of Norman’s pollen drawings and colour photos of the plant. It was the book of the Show at the 2015 National Honey Show.
These cards show the colours of pollen loads collected by honey bees. Each month depicts the colours for the plants that are most frequently visited by honey bees. On the reverse of each card is information about the typical flowering duration of each species. Some plants have also been identified as major sources of nectar.