Bees, Bees, and Maybes
Well, it is May, and I am getting stung left, right and centre. Their intelligence fascinates me. A pheromone attack is so sudden. I didnít take the hint when I heard something like hailstones hitting my visor almost immediately opening up a new hive. It was of course bees dive-bombing me. Itís not everyoneís game. Even 10 hives is quite taxing. So if you think you have some budding enthusiasm about bees and their domestic capabilities, think again. It is a massive learning curve. And I am sure they have a photographic memory that lingers for 72 hours.
I write this with an itch in my right arm as the swelling begins to make itself obvious. Only 2 days before did I don a head veil but still a solitary bee got in and bop me on the forehead just above the eye. Within 24 hours the swelling had climaxed, but this time-frame seems to be getting shorter. Thus said it was preparation for the following days as my home-made bee suit from Africa isnít up to the job; I couldnít imagine it against a swarm in Africa as they are supposedly more aggressive. My point is: everything is cheaper the further one draws away from the European central market and the cost reflects the methods and materials used locally. In Catalonia for example hives cost from 35-45Euros each and indicate the style of production here as flower becomes scarce and so hives are easy to close up and transport to more nectar-rich regions.
It truly is a profession here as beekeepers work full-time at it or just give up the ghost and leave a mass of empty abandoned hives in a heap for the odd swarm to reinhabit. Iíve maxed out already as the costs continue to increase with production, for instance buying the Supers that will house the honey harvest, and the wax template that is quite expensive. Then there is the chemical control, the extra feeding, the replacement of perishable materials like gloves, the replacement of a lost colony; one learns a lot very quickly with bees, much of it written in my latest book. I suppose the greatest joy of a beekeeper is the successful capture and housing of a swarm even though many books donít recommend it unless you know of its origins since they can impart disease to your other colonies.
This latest expansion in my activities on the farm puts a lot of other things into perspective. I am flying myself more and more between the UK and Spain in order to earn the income to fund such enterprises. Yet one of the things I have talked about extensively is a natural economy and this seems to be the case as losing my home means I have no overheads as a traveller other than the van that earns me money. I came into a bit of money and paid off a few debts whilst at it, contra to the difficult weather we have had in the UK to do my gardening. Working in those mansion gardens on a sunny day is an absolute joy and makes up for the slog sometimes. Likewise this natural economy seems to extend to a patron who has invested in my beekeeping, staking his part, I believe, to share in the spoils of the crop and probably getting a payback in less than 2 years. Effectively where his hives sit is the land that holds his territorial claim as now what was once unproductive is now productive. This is a permaculture and hearkens to the Common Law as much as say my guerrilla antics on the railway line in London staked a claim to a subsistence lifestyle and does away with trespass law. Even though I got arrested for that I was never charged and donít think I could ever be all the time I am homeless.
Lots of things are flowering in my life, not least my poetry, love affairs, music, literature, travel, health; by this latter I mention it tentatively since it fluctuates as much as does the inspiration to continue any of the above disciplines. A self-actualized being should be, by self-definition, healthy or whole. In the long-term I see a general improvement in my health, since from when I was a late teenager I became quite ill. In the short-term I have turned a corner and think a lot about what I am going to eat these days. I have lost the shackles of always going for the cheapest items on the shelf, whether reduced or just plain rubbish. I moved over to a vegan diet when I suffered a severe contraction in my kidney area which crippled me for 3 days. I still eat meat and dairy though, only that I have reduced the amount of food altogether. I have sought no expert advice, merely a few friends expressing their opinions about getting medical checks etc. I reiterate, know thy body and donít pick up the phone to ring a doctor before you give yourself time to find a solution. Likewise I become quite generous sometimes as I believe natural providence opens new doors to me. In the previous example of an investor buying up new hives, it seems Nature did not want to be undone, and provided me with an equal number of housed swarms.
I seem to be re-engaging with the permaculture community in London again, although I am selective. Readers of my previous journal may note about the corruption I implicate within its ranks manifestly indicative of the vow of silence that the Permaculture Association and its allied projects hold against me. It doesnít make sense other than something ridiculous like signing the secrecy act to explain their behaviour; it isnít permaculture. And in fact one of the things I want to do is come off social media and develop more ambient relations. If you see how nearly every project is dependant upon it for communication what I would like to do is see a lot more itinerant permaculturists scouring the landscape and being welcomed into learning environments. Itís quite Neolithic in its concept. In spite of all their apparent egalitarianism the problem I see is that the British movement does not understand the metaphysics of Individualism and why dominant personalities are needed. The reality is: culture breeds discrimination and the permaculture movement is a cultural phenomenon. Hence, donít expect any different from your leaders who are dealing with your own inconsistencies. Self-actualisation requires one to lead their cultures.
So it is now August. These forthcoming pages will show you what I have been up to. I still believe myself to be a true anarchist. (Where has that movement disappeared to?) In reflection of what I have written above there have been some changes. Not least my father is watering the trees on the land as now maybe he believes he is going to live long enough to benefit from it. I hooked up with some old friends from the permaculture movement at the London Permaculture Festival. Typical permaculture weather couldnít dampen our spirits. In fact going up to Primrose Hill afterward highlighted the big ĎOí of permaculture: Observation. The air had a magical quality about it and it could only reflect the networking and neural reactions bouncing off inside my brain. These themes are subject of the next chapter in my book, The Golden Mean: Building Revolutions, but alas it will be late as my efforts have funnelled into this glorious pictorial newsletter for you.
Definitely my energy changes and with it my consciousness. Undoubtedly more sexual, I wondered if my birthday today would bring a sharp reward. As it goes the mixed-up dishonesty I encounter in woman can only pertain to a metaphysical attraction I have to be a saviour type. I have little time for it, but something wants me to believe in spirits and that really, there isn't anything subversive going on in the social world concerning my relations. And in this vein it is interesting how abrupt weather patterns change the course of my fate. The rain especially, a subject of my literature, seems to draw me to ill-health. This comes in many forms, food poisoning, auto-immunity, lack of social salience, passive negativism, bad luck, doubt and cynicism etc. When I wait for answers in the greater community I canít find them.
Readers of my philosophy may note that I equate spirituality with ecological integrity and Fair Shares, those tenets of the permaculture movement. I try my best to recoil from excessive electronic communication and prefer to understand people through their tangible engagement with me. Having a sexual lifestyle does not suddenly make one into a womanizer, sexist, or gay. In fact I should be a model for those very evolved holy people who baulk at the whole experience of returning into the sexual field: it does not have to be lust or guilt. It can still be very spiritual. But I believe those personal holy days are gone now, as I try to understand the female race caught up in a male world, and my song writing takes a new turn How many beautiful women look to me only to be dragged back down? It seems that if I give them what they want they only feel worse for it. Has permaculture got anything to say about this?