Thoughts On A Bee’s Death

by Dr. Christopher on October 17, 2011

Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature is perfect.

You weren’t born broken.  Your path is the right one.  Even seemingly negative, bad, or horrible things serve a purpose, whether you know it or not.

This belief that “Nature is perfect” came into question yesterday.

On Sunday morning, I slowly woke up around 7 AM, perfectly parallel with the sun’s rising.  As I took my time opening my eyes and wiggling my toes (to make sure they still work, of course), I glanced over at the book I’m currently reading called Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go by Thich Nhat Hanh.  I’d read a few of his other books and find they all make me feel peaceful inside.  Reading the title in bed, I thought to myself, “Darn right!  Nothing to do, nowhere to go!”

Eventually, I made my way downstairs.  Made myself some daffodil tea.  Finally made the home-made chicken soup I’d been wanting to make for the past week but didn’t because of my inability to slow down.  Made my way outside to join the party that the sun and all of her friends were having.

While earthing, connecting with the ground from bare skin to raw earth, facing directly southeast in the sun’s direction, I was joined by squirrels, ants, a lime-green caterpillar, a dozen deer, flies (oh how you test me Mr. Fly.), and the bees.  There was this vine-like plant with flowers that look like tiny galaxies, and the bees were having their way with it.  Occasionally, a bee would orbit around my own gravitational pull.

One bee was wandering around my direct frontal space when she decided she wanted to take a swim in my soup.  I noticed her discontent with being in my soup and tried to pick her out ASAP.  It seems, three seconds is too long for a hot bee bath.  I don’t know whether it was the heat or the vinegar, but she regretted that decision. 

The bee’s death made me sad in that moment. 

If nature were perfect, why would a bee do that?

Charles Darwin would say it sacrificed itself for the intelligence of the species by weeding out another dumb bee who would swim in hot soup.

The Devil would say because we’re all sick organisms that love to suffer.

I proceeded to think about eating her to make her death worth something.  I thought she’d be happy knowing that she gave her self to make me stronger, and I could, in return, pay it forward to serve more people and bees.  Then I came to the conclusion that the Earth would eat her anyway. 

Observing the world, its nature, which happens to be our nature, I remembered a few things.

1.  Suffering and death are temporary.  A bee dies.  But some other life will benefit, making her life purposeful, even when she has left her body.  Whether that life is some bacteria, a bird, or dumb boy that wants to make use of a still bee body.  Out of a sad moment that was a death, nature can make something good. 

Out of a sad moment in your life, it will pass. (Hint: The more you observe, learn, and grow, the quicker the sadness will pass).

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

2.  Life and Happiness are temporary too.  That next life will die too.  We often forget that a flower finds nutrients in another animal’s waste (excrement).  Bacteria decompose other dead animals to provide food for the flowering plant.  Finally, the flower blooms.  But it never lasts.  We try to make it last by watering it and cutting the stem at an angle to provide for surface area for absorption.  Even that flower will whither.

3.  The key to happiness is to keep looking at the flower.  Life never completely ceases.  In the upcoming winter, life will slow down, as it should.  Squirrels will be in their holes with all of their nuts.  Deer will be taking it easy.  I will be sleeping 10 hours a night.  In the dormancy of winter, we can remember that life is still present and happiness still available by taking notice of that life when we see it. 

The beauty of life is recognizing the flower now, in the present time.  The flower is life’s attempt to realize how amazing life can be if you choose to perceive it.  Then you remember that the flower won’t be there forever.  But neither will death.

Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you remember to look at a flower today? 

Be the perfect human you are and do it.  Although you’re perfect even if you don’t do it.

Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Morristown, NJ.  He practices out of Guerrilla Fitness: Crossfit Morristown and Crossfit Montclair.
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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

KevinT October 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm

We need to remember that sometimes-as negative as it seems-sh*t happens.

Dr. Christopher October 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm


Yes, it does. Always. Accept it and ride it out, right?

Alexander J. Rinehart, MS, DC, CCN October 18, 2011 at 12:09 am

Great thoughtful post Dr. Chris! I love the concept of everything being interconnected…we are all “one”.

According to Bruce Lipton, PhD, the next age of prosperity will be defined by “holism”, but there will be quite a struggle to get there as the previous stakeholders fight to the bitter end (environment-polluting industry & medical-insurance complex rings a bell).

What it comes down to is we can “choose” the direction we want to take humanity…or suffer through the 6th great mass extinction of the Earth. One large part of that, which is a great lesson in prosperity itself…is recognizing the Universal connection between all beings.

Nature isn’t always pretty, but it is always perfect.
Alexander J. Rinehart, MS, DC, CCN recently posted..Multivitamins and Mortality and Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer

KevinT October 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

One of the greatest but most depressing things about nature is that it is ONLY perfect because it is unforgiving.

KevinT October 18, 2011 at 11:06 am

On a related note, I would LOVE to see what mankind was like 100,000 years ago.

Dr. Christopher October 18, 2011 at 11:41 am

Dr. Alex,

I need some more Bruce Lipton in my life! I’ll order some books today. I didn’t realize that there were 5 extinctions before. Thought there was only one with the dinosaurs. Whatever happens, I’m on nature’s side.


Elaborate on nature being ONLY perfect because it is unforgiving. I have my own thoughts as to what you mean, but would like to hear your’s first.

And I agree, watching human behavior from that time would be a revelation I imagine. With no tv’s, technology, 9-to-5’s, what would people spend time doing?? Probably just living.

KevinT October 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I mean that “perfection” in nature only exists because imperfection hinders survival. Being born with a weakened immune system will make an organism sick more often-making it more prone to predation if illness doesn’t take it first.

What I was really trying to get to was to compare early humans and their ancestors to modern wild animals. Let’s face it, we see what lions do on TV and we think they’re badass. Humans, I believe, pulled off some truly epic moves in the early days. I saw a good example of this in the first episode of Human Planet. There was an Indonesian group hunting sperm whales with row boats and a few ballsy volunteers who DOVE off the boat to impale the whale with spears. They used the boats to keep the whale from diving until it tired and died, then they dragged it to shore.

Dr. Christopher October 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Yup yup. That’s what I was thinking. Homo sapiens don’t have tails anymore because they became pointless when we stood on 2 legs. Our lack of tail is perfect for us.

I would LOVE to see that whale hunt, although I feel bad for the whale.

It makes you wonder why more of us aren’t doing epic things? Why aren’t I doing more, hitting more pitches out of the park, leveraging my energy for greater good? But as I say this, I feel the need for recharging in nature in solitude. Perhaps we are all running on empty?

Maybe we can’t see the perfection because we haven’t become sick enough from the stress to learn to slow the F down. Your thoughts?

KevinT October 18, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Badass whale hunting:

I respect this risk much more than the guys on Deadliest Catch strictly because they’re doing it for their own survival and not to feed some rich tool bag in New York City.

For the record, I think you are doing epic things simply by helping people the best way you know how.

For another record, I would definitely be down for a camping trip in the spring or summer.

Jack October 20, 2011 at 8:13 am

Bacteria decompose other dead animals to provide food for the flowering plant. Finally, the flower blooms. But it never lasts. We try to make it last by watering it and cutting the stem at an angle to provide for surface area for absorption. Great learning post, keep up the good work.
Jack recently posted..How to win the lottery

Crissa October 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

Are you saying that we have destiny? Do you believe on it? Or it is just nature? It is that nature that guides our path? This is very interesting article.. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the death of the bees..
Crissa recently posted..Ski Blog

Dr. Christopher October 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Kevin T, Thank you for sharing that video. That is some ballsy stuff. I appreciate your comment, it means alot to me. Let’s consider a camping trip next year done then!

Thanks Jack!

Crissa, these are awesome questions that I wrestle with often. We have to be really careful about the terms we use and how we define them. I don’t necessarily think that we have a “destiny,” but a “path” or “an inner vision.” One of our main purposes in life is to spiritually into our true identity. Our “path” is what we walk on, to grow, to pay attention to the signs, to learn our lessons. What speed we walk on that path is dependent on how we “humbly observe” if you will. Some people grow very little in this lifetime, but some souls seem to be “old” vs “young”, so perhaps we get other opportunities?

Our “inner visions,” or our “heart’s whisperings” are our deepest desires, our dreams, that are trying to guide us to achieve what we really want in life. For example, does you “deepest self” want to have a family someday or to be single for the rest of your life? Whatever the answer is, it is your job to understand that deep desire and pay attention to the signs that are trying to point you in the direction to achieving that desire. In this way, nature really does guide our paths.

I would love to hear you thoughts about the same questions!

jlem1125 October 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm

What a great post. Full of wisdom and inspiration. Thanks so much for making me smile while reading this!
jlem1125 recently posted..Winter Dog Walks

Dr. Christopher October 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Always jlem!

Sabina October 25, 2011 at 9:22 am

This post is full of wisdom. And I like reading this. Thanks for sharing about the bees.
Sabina recently posted..Trouble Getting Pregnant

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