The bees of the Abbey

« If bees disappeared, man would not have more than a few years left to live »

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The bees of the Abbey

Although many animals are authentic builders (beavers, ants, nesting birds…) it is rarer to find ones which, while combining beauty and functionality, ingeniousness and solidity, dexterity and durability, reveal themselves to be veritable architects. Bees have this talent. When contemplating the inside of a beehive, one is fascinated by the perfection of the structure, the geometry of the alveoli that optimize the use of space and create an ideal protection for their contents. It is certain that bees are only guided by instinct and they cannot be credited with esthetic research or ethical considerations. Nonetheless, their creations seem to come straight out of the brain of a genius or a high-performance computer. Beehives share this with historical monuments restored for a cultural use in that their architecture is placed at the disposal of a collective work, of a community commitment, or of an action of solidarity. The honey that is produced, a noble and rich product, can be compared to the artistic creations which find their homes or which are produced by the cultural centers. It is this symbolic kinship which induced the Abbey of Neumünster Cultural Exchange Center to invite the Federation of Beekeepers to place several beehives in the terraced gardens which follow the Alzette, in close proximity to the Abbey. The bees find an indeal environment there, well preserved not only from pesticides, but from pollution, from monoculture which causes damage too often in the countryside and from urban torment as well. The pollenization done by the bees in the valley and the honey that they produce are two new steps taken by an institution which has decided to “become green”.

If we remember today that the quote attributed to Einstein: « If bees disappeared, man would not have more than a few years left to live » is apocryphal, if we suppose that man would undoubtedly survive even the extinction of bees, in the same way he would perhaps survive the prohibition of poetry, we don’t dare imagine what a world would be like that would no longer allow us to read:

I know nothing more celestial than the heavens.

From lily to lily, from dream to dream, we make our honey,

And the child’s soul, humble and vermilion,

In dreams as in the bees’ flowers (Victor Hugo).

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Watch Kee KommentART featured in RTL-Kultur : http://kultur.rtl.lu/tele/kultur/show/?v=44781 (starting at 14th minute)