Talking to Bees

Another gem of a history book dusted off my shelves: Akenfield by Ronald Blythe, a village in Sussex described via interviews in the late 1960s, but reaching far back. I love this:

“The old people have gone and have taken a lot of truth out of the world with them. When Billy died, his wife walked down the garden and told the bees, and hung black crepe on the hive. My grandfather did this, tool He said that if you didn’t, the bees would die as well. Bees are dangerous to some folk and a gift to others. You’ll get someone who’ll get stung once and perish and another who’ll get stung all over and get cured of all manner of things. There were a rare lot of bees i the village in those days. When they swarmed we used to all rush out into the garden with the fireirons and scuttle and bang away; that brought them down. ”

This was an account from Sammy Whitelaw, a 58 year old farrier, who ended with “I hope you like this village. I have lived here all my days and have been happy enough. “

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