Book 1. Anastasia (1996)
Who gets stung by bees?
In every garden-plot there should be at least one colony of bees.
I told Anastasia there are very few people in our society who can communicate with bees. Special training is required, and not everyone is successful.
But she replied:
'A lot of what you do to maintain bee colonies just gets in the way Over the past centuries there have been only two people on Earth who have come close to understanding this unique life-form.”
'And who might they be?”
“They are two monks, who have since been canonised. You can read about them in your books —■ they can be found in many monastery archives.”
“Come on, now, Anastasia! You read church literature too? Where? When? You don’t even have a single book!”
“I have at my disposal a much more complete method of retrieving information.”
“What kind of method? Again, you’re talking in circles! After all, you promised me you wouldn’t resort to any mysticism or fantasy”
“I shall tell you about it. I shall even try teaching it to you. You will not understand it right away, but it is simple and natural.”
“Well, okay. So, how should bees be kept in a garden-plot?”
'All you have to do is build the same kind of hive for them they would have under natural conditions, and that is it. After that the only thing required is to go to the hive and gather part of the honey, wax and other substances they produce that are so useful for Man.”
'Anastasia, that’s not simple at all. Who knows what that natural hive should look like? Now, if you could tell me how to do it myself with the materials we have at our disposal, then that might be something feasible.”
'All right,” she laughed. “Then you will have to wait a bit. I need to visualise it, I have to see what people in today’s world might have on hand, as you say”
'And where should it be placed so as not to spoil the view?” I added.
“I shall look into that too.”
She lay down on the grass as she always did, visualising her — or, rather, our — living situations, but this time I began to observe her carefully As she lay on the grass, her arms were stretched out in different directions, with palms upturned. Her fingers were partly curled, and their tips (specifically, the tips of the four fingers on each hand) were also positioned so that their soft parts faced upward.
Her fingers first began to stir a little, but then stopped.
Her eyes were closed. Her body was completely relaxed. Her face too appeared relaxed at first, but then a faint shadow of some kind of feeling or sensation moved across it.
Later she explained how seeing at a distance could be practised by anyone with a particular kind of upbringing.
About the beehive, Anastasia had the following to say:
“You need to make the hive in the shape of a hollow block. Yon can either take a log with a hole in it and hollow it out to enlarge the cavity, or use boards from a deciduous tree to make a long hollow box 120 centimetres long. The boards should be no less than 6 cm thick and the inside measurements of the cavity at least 40 by 40 centimetres. Triangular strips should be inserted into the corners where the inner surfaces meet, to make the cavity somewhat rounded. The strips can be just lightly glued in place, and the bees themselves will firm them up afterward. One end should be fully covered with a board of the same thickness, with a hinged panel at the other end. For this the panel needs to be cut in such away so that it fits neatly into the opening and sealed with grass or some kind of cloth covering the whole bottom. Make a slit or a series of slits (to provide access for the bees) along the bottom edge of one of the sides approximately one and a half centimetres wide, starting 30 cm from the hinged opening and continuing to the other end. This hive can be set on pilings anywhere in the garden-plot — at least 20-25 centimetres off the ground, with the slits facing south.
“It is even better, however, to set it up under the roof of the house. Then people will not interfere with the bees flying out, and will not be bothered by them. In this case the hive should be aligned horizontally at a 20-30 degree angle, with the opening at the lower end. The hive could even be installed in the attic, provided there is proper ventilation, or on the roof itself. Best of all, though, attach it to the south wall of the house, just under the eaves. The only thing is, you need to make sure you have proper access to the hive so you can remove the honeycomb. Otherwise the hive should stand on a small platform, with an overhead canopy to protect it from the sun, and can be wrapped with insulation in winter.”
I remarked to Anastasia that this type of hive could be rather heavy, and the platform and canopy might spoil the appearance of the house. What to do in that case? She looked at me a little surprised, and then explained:
“The thing is that your beekeepers do not really go about it the right way. My grandfather told me about this. Beekeepers today have concocted a lot of different ways of constructing a hive, but all of them involve constant human intervention in its operation — they
move the honeycomb frames around within the hive, or move both the hive and the bees to a different spot for the winter, and that is something they should not do.
“Bees build their honeycombs at a specific distance apart to facilitate both ventilation and defence against their enemies, and any human intervention breaks down this system. Instead of spending their time gathering honey and raising offspring, the bees are obliged to fix what has been broken.
“Under natural conditions bees live in tree hollows and cope with any situation perfectly well on their own. I told you that they should be kept under conditions as close to their natural ones as possible. Their presence is extremely beneficial. They pollinate all the plants much more effectively than other agent, thereby increasing the yield. But you must know this pretty well already
“What you may not know is that bees' mouths open up channels in the plants through which the plants take in supplemental information reflected by the planets — information the plants (and, subsequently, human beings) require.”
“But bees sting people, don't you see? How can somebody get a good rest at a dacha if they're constantly afraid of being stung?''
“Bees only sting when people act aggressively toward them, wave them off, become afraid or irritated inside — not necessarily at the bees, but just at anyone. The bees feel this and will not tolerate the rays of any dark feelings. Besides, they may attack those parts of the body where there are channels connecting with some diseased internal organ or where the protective aura has been torn, and so forth.
“You know that bees are already effectively used in treating the disease you call radiculitis, but that is far from being the only thing they can do.
“If I were to tell you about everything, especially showing the evidence you are asking for, you would have to spend not just three days but many weeks with me. There is a lot written about bees in your world, all I have done is introduce a few correctives — but please believe me, they are extremely important correctives.
“To establish a colony of bees in a hive like that is very easy. Before introducing a swarm of bees into the hive, put in a little chunk of wax and some honey-plant. You do not need to put in any hand-made
frames or cells. Afterward, when there are colonies established on even a few neighbouring dacha plots, the bees will multiply all by themselves; then, as they swarm, they will occupy the empty hives.” 'And how should the honey be gathered?”
"Open the panel, break off the hanging honeycomb and extract the sealed honey and pollen. Only do not be greedy It is important to leave part of it for the bees for the winter. In fact, it is better not to collect any honey at all during the first year.”