Our Honeybee Sanctuary is located on a secluded piece of land in rural Benzie County, Michigan. This sanctuary will serve as a place for healing and protection for all pollinators, especially Honeybees, with whom we share a special bond.
Ongoing activities on site include sound healing, deep study with the bees and plants, teaching, and heart-centered awakening. The land is also host to an active organic farm, focused on perennials such as fruits, nuts, berries, and medicinal herbs.
As a sanctuary, we honor the sacredness of all life and we intend to walk the path of beauty, love, and gratitude with balance.
Please contact us if you believe you can help in supporting the sanctuary.
Mahalo and Blessings!
What is a sanctuary?
The Pollinator sanctuary is, in short, a sacred space protected from all harmful human-induced toxins. Things to leave behind when entering the sanctuary include all herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides; toxic building materials such as finishes and treated lumber; perfumes and other concentrated volatile oils; ego and outdated beliefs of human domination over the natural world.
What you will find within the sanctuary is a place where all life is encouraged to explore, thrive, and evolve. Here the sacred elements that sustain all life - Earth, Air, Fire, and Water - are respected above all else, and are considered the benchmarks upon which all decisions are made. The sanctuary is a place for peace, and biology. It is a place where humans can learn to recognize intelligence in beings that do not look or feel like us; a place to recognize our shared ancestry and our ancient bonds.
In this sanctuary, pollinators will find a space free of human caused stressors, filled with abundant food and medicine for all to share.
Part of our mission is to develop and utilize holistic beekeeping methods that do not stress the hive. Through our mystical, relational approach to the bees, and by utilizing heart-centered perception and communication, we have and will continue to develop these methods.
Within the sanctuary, honeybees will live in hives with natural honeycomb and minimal foundation designed to allow the honey harvest and observation of the hive to occur with minimal disturbance to the bees. The bees will both forage from, and receive "biodynamic teas" from the medicinal herbs and plants in the sanctuary. Queens will be raised by the bees themselves, according to the natural instincts of the hive. We will not manipulate the drone population. Sugar or other imitation hive foods will never be fed to the bees. We will use vitalistic and biodynamic approaches to the treatment of varroa mites and other honeybee dis-ease states.
In addition, we will use sound healing therapies to help restore honeybee health to hives, including tuning forks, mantras/chanting, reiki, didjeridoo and other instrumental vehicles for sacred sound.
These holistic beekeeping techniques were developed from within our own apprenticeship relationship with the bees and are closely aligned with the practices of the "Melissa Garden" and "Spikenard Farm and Apiary."
"Nature is both the creator of man and his greatest teacher. Sensitivity, reason, and understanding...all can be manifested only through sympathy with nature."
In our understanding of how to connect and communicate with the energy body or spirit of the beehive, we have been greatly influenced by the work of Stephen Buhner. In Secret Teachings of the Plants, Stephen describes how all things in our physical reality have electromagnetic and chemical communication systems that operate "whether or not our human minds recognize it." "The heart", he states, "is the organ that can re-learn how to perceive the messages coming from these energy realms and how to communicate back".
This work of shifting consciousness from a brain/head- centered location to a heart-centered one is the work we must all learn to do if we are to remember our place in the web of life, and remember our way of balance within this web. If we can learn to recognize the aliveness that surrounds us, and learn to respectfully communicate with the beings that are all around us, then humans can begin to heal, and to wake up the human heart as an organ of perception. Then nature can be our teacher and help us to bring ourselves and the Earth back into balance.
"The key to nature's therapy is feeling like a tiny part of it, not a master over it. There's amazing pride in seeing a bee land on a flower you planted - but that's not your act of creation, it's your act of joining in."
Stephen Buhner's particular focus is with plants. He teaches us how to recognize the plants as our teachers, guides, healers, and allies, and how to seek guidance, respectfully. In Grateful Beauty Sanctuary, we practice in this manner with our plants. We recognize that each plant has its own unique gifts and way that it communicates. We respect the wisdom of the plants and will offer the opportunity to meditate with particular plants throughout our sanctuary.
In our practice as beekeepers, we start from this place of heart-centered relationship with the bees. We cultivate experience within ourselves that helps us become aware of the spirit of the hive - the Great Bee, the Spiritual Bee, the "Bien" - and how to reach out to this being through our hearts - to communicate with our hearts. Respect, the ability to let go of all forms of hierarchical thinking, and a sincere desire to transform ourselves are essential to this process.
By practicing in this way with a sincere heart, we are able to be guided by the hives in the development of the holistic beekeeping methods we are creating.