Fear for Bees and the rock paintings in Spain
Written by Maria Bru.
It all started one year ago, on a warm and sunny autumn afternoon in Australia when for the first time I started learning about bees. My intention was to deepen my knowledge of the hive to overcome my only fear: the bees.
My family used to spend the summer in Solsona, Catalonia. It was in these mountains that I witnessed a shocking scene that would shape my relationship with bees during my first 30 years on Earth. I was 9 years old and my mother took me to the mountain for a walk to pick lavender for her favorite craft making incense sticks. By accident, she put her small hand into the entrance of a wild beehive. I can clearly remember her screams and abrupt movements to escape from all the bees that were stinging her body to protect the hive. From that moment, I would run away as fast and further as I could anytime a bee would enter my space.
Life was fun and busy and I had plenty of modern life distractions and no time and reasons to overcome my trauma, or a desire to get close to bees.
I have no excuses for my ignorance about bees during that period of my life. I always had a passion for learning and bringing new knowledge in. Furthermore, I loved reading books, which I truly believe could have helped in my situation.
Feeding my fear and my hate for Bees with my lack of knowledge. I wasn’t doing anything to fight it because I could happily live with it, except when a bee would fly too close to me!
In March 2021, Bees appeared in my life to send a big message I couldn’t ignore. In order to listen, I had to get closer to them. How I did it, deserves a full book that's going to take me time, but it will be written without timeframes.
The one thing I can share with you right now is that, with Spencer’s support and inspiration, my inner child got curious enough to start reading about the bee world and exploring ancient cultures that were connecting with these marvelous insects.
The transition of feelings and emotions of my heart for bees from fear to love has been a journey full of fun and dancing. Relearning how to revere them and respect them wouldn’t have been possible without the intangible culture of the hive. I’m very grateful for all of those beings who took a moment to share with me the ways to connect with bees.
It was special to discover that the first rock painting ever found representing a scene of humans and bees was in Spain, close to where I lived part of my teenagehood. Immediately, I placed Cueva de la Araña at the top of my never-ending spots of places to visit on Earth. I wasn’t the only one, it was on Spencer’s lists too. So it became a targeted key location to visit for The Colony's purposes of research.
The Colony visiting la Cueva de la Araña
The place has received us with remarkable surprises that have empowered our relationship with bees and deepened our understanding of it.
Trini, a local passionate archaeologist has been an incredible support and the source of many details that we didn’t know. There is no book that tells you everything, there is nothing like local wisdom shared from human to human, like the main source speaking directly to you without noise.
The first enlightenment was the revelation that Trini’s team believes that the figure from the painting is a woman, not a manhunter. You can totally see its woman's corporal curves, and her female position and you can also feel her feminine energy when you stand in front of the painting. So inspiring!
They call it “la recolectora de miel” and when you translate it to English you lose the gender: “the honey recolector”. Lamentably, many sources we have been finding didn't mention the gender and the key detail was lost.
As Trini repeated many times, cave paintings are an element of cultural transmission used for generations, which allows us to meet and understand our ancestors' customs and beliefs. The painting could represent a scene of their daily life, a reverence for their gods, a story, or a myth. None but the artist who painted the rock and multiple generations of the tribes who listened to the stories knew. Our modern society has lost track, we have been disconnected from our ancestors.
The second enlightenment was to observe that the hole of the beehive is made by a real hole in the rock. It brings perspective to the piece and gives you a real entry point to the hive. Trini and their team believed that our ancestors didn’t do the hole, it was part of the rock. They chose to use it as part of the piece. It is a simple action but it’s full of interpretations.
The third shocking element for us was the extension of the painting. The photos from books we read and studied show only the top part of the piece. The three ropes that the archaeologists and specialists assume are holding a woman are as long as they can possibly be in the rock. It doesn’t matter if they were representing a real cave or a higher realm, it places the woman and the beehive in a really elevated place.
Furthermore, we admired that women used either no protection suit or smoke while being with the bees. Trini said that maybe she could have her face covered by some kind of cloth, but she wasn’t convinced with the idea. It looks like she is going with no protection and she seems really confident and calm.
Finally, we discovered the presence of a second figure in the scene that Trini’s team believes to ‘be a figure painted 2,000 years after the original without modifying the representation of the scene’. To my eyes, it looks like an act of the patriarchy trying to destroy the representation of a goddess by simplifying the scene to a representation of a honey recollection.
Spencer and I walked into the sacred place and came out with no words to express ourselves. We witnessed what they call ‘a simple representation of honey recollection’ but we felt deeply that it was more than that. The rocks were speaking to our souls.
As any piece of art, any being would perceive this representation differently. I would recommend you to discover it yourself!
I see the representation of the duality, world and otherworld.
Honeybees as messengers and guards of hidden knowledge.
Guiding the ascension from Earth to other realms.
I see a warrior.
The goddess of the hive.
The spirit of the hive.
I identify my journey.
The path from fear to love.
The light from the stars of the hive.
I see an empowered woman.
Harmonious and guided by peaceful bees.
In a pristine recollection of honey from bees.
- Maria Bru, Bee Guardian