The Blessing Of The Bees

It is an ancient custom for beekeepers on Good Friday to clean and tidy the place where their bee hives stand, and to place on each hive a small wax cross or a branch of boxwood blessed on Palm Sunday.

These consecrated items were credited with protecting the bees from misfortune and thunder. If boxwood was planted near the hives, the swarms would not stray far.

It is still customary to bless one’s bees.  Holy Week is a lovely time to whisper the following blessing to your hives.

Blessing of the Bees

Lord God Almighty,
Who didst create Heaven and Earth,
and all animals that live in the air
and on earth for use of man;
Thou who has directed that
the ministers of Thy Holy Church
should light candles made of beeswax
when the holy sacrifice is offered
in which the Sacred Body and Blood
of Jesus Christ, The Son,
becomes present and is consumed;
Send down Thy blessing on these bees,
that they may multiply
and be fruitful
and be preserved from all harm
so that the product of their labor
may be used to Thy honor,
and to the honor of Thy Son,
and the Holy Spirit,
and the most blessed Virgin Mary,
Through the same Christ our Lord
Amen.

17 thoughts on “The Blessing Of The Bees

  1. While I’m not a particularly religious person, this is a beautiful prayer and a most wonderful thing to do. Blessed are the Bees, indeed.

  2. Talking With Bees says:

    I will remember this custom for next year. My new beehive – http://www.talkingwithbees.com/beekeeping/beehaus-review – arrives next week and I am very excited. As you will see from my blog, I am keen to see what I can learn from Talking With Bees.

  3. mossandivy says:

    So romantic. I am not religious either, just a house blend of my own invention, but I do love these old customs, very sweet.

    • Bees call me to be more spiritual… 🙂

      • mossandivy says:

        In what way? Details? Do they go “beeeeee spiritual, or is there more to it? I’m intrigued.

      • I guess that did sound corny. But it’s true.
        The best way I can describe it is that they remind me that life is a miracle. Totally beyond my comprehension.
        I think you would get a similar answer from most beekeepers. 🙂

      • mossandivy says:

        I didn’t mean to imply that it was corny, I was just making a lame-ass joke.
        Gawd, I want bees so badly now after reading what you just wrote, I can somehow sense the truth in what you are saying.
        I grew up in a very religious family, my dad was a pastor when I was young. Then I threw it all out in my early thirties, and then slowly added whatever stuck to the wall, which didn’t happen to be religion, just a knowing that there is a force of love out there that is too big and too beautiful to be contained in a small word like “god”.
        Nature is my cathedral- don’t know who said that, but it feels right to me, and the mysteries of the bees feels like a key to some of the secrets.
        Hey look at me, gettin’ my corn on!

  4. PJ Girl says:

    What a lovely thing to do!

  5. mossandivy says:

    Ooops, I forgot that my comments were public and my last one was a bit much….please feel free to delete!

  6. Please don’t!! 🙂

  7. Gary Sturni says:

    “Bless, O Lord, our brothers the bees. Guard them from pests and parasites; protect their hives and santify their work, that, in gathering pollen and gaining the productive propagation of plants, they may show us the sweetness of your creation, and your love for all you have made. We thank you for the ministry of beekeepers and ask that you make us all stewards of the good earth you have given us, busy and cooperative, building the glory of your kingdom. Amen.”

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