Apiculae Sabinae Benedicendae

As the Sabine trees flower, the bees are getting busy!

The Sabine chapel apple is emitting a low mmmmm.

Miss Honey.

We have Sabine hives.  I will be blessing them soon.

O Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth!  Thou didst create all living things for man’s use.  Moreover, thou didst order by the ministry of thy holy Church that candles made from the industry of bees shall burn during the Sacred Mystery in which we consecrate and consume the most holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, thy Son.  Send thy holy blessing + upon these bees and this beehive to make them numerous and productive, and to preserve them from harm, so that their yield of wax can be turned to thy honor, and to the honor of they Son and Holy Spirit, and to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Through the same Christ our Lord.


There is a Sabine bear, these days, so I will probably bless the hives soon.

I don’t know the exact strain of bee, but they are really busy these days.

Miss Bumble.

It is always a pleasure to see them gracefully blundering around.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kradcliffe says:

    BEAR?! Did you say BEAR?!

    You’re going to bless the bears but you don’t bless the squirrels?

    I am confounded, father! LOL

  2. JoyfulMom7 says:

    Lovely pictures, Father. Thanks for sharing your beautiful world with us.

  3. Kradcliffe: I would like to make a rug out of the bear.

  4. Stitchwort says:

    Um, actually, if they are buzzing around collecting pollen/nectar, they are Ms. (or Miss) Bee. The only male bees are the drones, which just hang around the hive hoping to go on a joyride with the queen bee.

    Lovely pictures, nonetheless. :)

  5. ED2 says:

    Yikes! I can’t look at those pictures without cringing. I’m so afraid of bees!

  6. Andreas says:

    Si est bombus, est etiam bombans aliquis, et unica causa bombi bombantis, quod equidem sciam est apis. (Winnie ille Pu)

  7. Thomas Gillespie says:

    Fr – amazing photos you get without a special zoom lens.

  8. PMcGrath says:

    Hmmmmmmmm. The blessing for the beehive mentions the wax, and not the honey. Seems slightly strange.

  9. The women do all the work, working themselves to death in a number of weeks in the busy season. The drones live much longer. They just eat, have sex once, then die.

  10. Fr. Totton says:

    I too have a bee hive at the rectory – though not intentionally! They have burrowed into a split column on the back porch. Alas, we don’t have any bears in my neighborhood.

  11. Thomas says:

    I like the bumblebees, you can walk right up to them while they are pollinating flowers and they don’t give a hoot.

  12. Supertradmom says:

    I am very allergic to bee stings, but love the creatures all the same. And, I must add, that I actually stopped for a young squirrel on Thursday who stopped in the middle of a road into a parking lot. There were, thankfully, no cars behind me. The little squirrel obviously doesn’t know what a car horn means. I just waited. Thanks for all the great photos, Father Z.

  13. Ann says:

    spring spring spring spring… I just love spring!! The pictures are marvelous and that tree is magnificent!

    We had a lovely spring rain today and it will rain all week if NOAA is to be believed. Hubby will do in the house repairs! YAY!

  14. Quadraginta Annus says:

    Reverand Father:

    Wonderful photos, Father. I am envious of your expertise (in a Christian sense, of course). The blessing is also beautiful and appropriate, but should not the Divine pronouns be capitalized?

    Very respectfully,

    Quadraginta Annus

  15. Will says:

    Delightful creatures, bees. They’re the only insect I really can say that about.
    My crabapple tree is taking the year off, unfortunately, but in its good years the whole tree hums with all the bees wandering around in the blossoms. I hope they make some beekeeper very happy.

  16. dark_coven says:

    Thank you Father for sharing this to us. I was very impressed and at the same time felt kinda weird with the Prayer/Blessing for bees. I won’t be shocked to learn that there would be a protection against bees, but this prayer is very sweet and deep – that Almighty God indeed chooses mundane things to bring about His salvation and glory viz. through bees, and sinful humans (i.e. priests).

    Instavrare Omnia In Christo.

  17. Jimbo says:

    Looks like your garden variety European honey bee. The yellow appendages on his hind “legs” is collected pollen.

  18. Meganekko says:

    I’d agree with Jimbo that it’s your basic European honeybee, which is nice because they’re not terribly aggressive and nervous (normally); with africanized bees, on the other hand, well–they swarm easily and you could run a couple km, and they’d still be on your tail.

  19. Maureen says:

    The original writer of the blessing must have been a utilitarian sort of fellow, for him not to include honey. There are enough honey quotes in the Bible that you’d think he’d have included one.

    The punctuation of pronouns referring to the divine goes up and down. Nobody did it back in the day, then everybody did it, and now the stylebooks are trying to get rid of it again. There’s plenty of justification for whichever way you want to spell it.

  20. Maureen says:

    Re: blessing the bear

    “Lord, bless this bear, and keep him away from us!”

  21. Thomas Gillespie says:

    Will – bees are indeed delightful in their social organization and their productivity and its fruits. Beetles too are delightful. The biologist J. S. B. Haldane said that if biology had taught him anything about the nature of the Creator, it was that he had “an inordinate fondness for beetles.”

    There are more than 800,000 species of insects on earth, more than all the other plants and animals combined. Of this great number of insects, nearly half are beetles.

  22. Nick says:

    When you said you were going to bless the bear, it reminded me of this joke:

    A hunter was out in the woods, when he suddenly came upon a bear. Without thinking, he ran. The bear chased after him, and he was hungry! The hunter ran into a dead end. He prayed, “O Lord, save me! Make this bear a Christian!” The bear suddenly fell on its knees, made the Sign of the Cross, and said grace. (It gave thanks after eating too!)

  23. Ricky Vines says:

    1.) Maureen: that sounds like the Jewish blessing for the czar in Russia. “May the Lord keep the czar and keep him away from us.”

    2.) Is the Sabine bear black or brown? I know one of them eats people.

  24. Jim Dorchak says:

    About the Bear….

    I have been a bee keeper here in SC for +/-10 years.

    Near us there are bears. Black Bears, and they will tear up your hive as soon as the bees have collected some honey. They smell the honey.

    They will utterly destroy the wood work, frames and kill the bees. Bears will eat the bees as well as the honey. They are a great problem in the foot hills of NC, and the piedmont of SC and I have many friends who battle the bears each year in a war to keep their bees safe.

    Bears are trouble and no friends of Bee Keepers. A nucleus of bees down here (5 frames and a queen) now cost $80.00. It is a regular discussion at the local bee keeping meeting about who lost their bees to BEARS lately. We are talking losses in the thousands of dollars some times.

    Try electric fence. I also have some fellow bee keepers who use a chain link enclosure.

    Jim Dorchak

  25. Fr. Z. said: “Kradcliffe: I would like to make a rug out of the bear.

    Please be assured it is not my mascot. ;)


  26. How’d you get such great photos Father? Glad you didn’t get a sting. Must be the gentle brand of bee.

  27. We get bears in our yards here (and they’re definitely out of hibernation).

  28. irishgirl says:

    Great pictures of the blossoms and the bees, Father-thanks for sharing them with us!

    I have a crabapple tree in my backyard. Unfortunately, almost all the blossoms are gone. Its glory was at the end of April and beginning of May; then the windstorms tore all the petals away!

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