bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Monday, August 09, 2004

Saints in the silly season

It's August — commonly called the “silly season” for news in the UK media. And I can see why. There's hardly anything being reported in the bee world at the moment. So I thought I'd ferret around amongst the patron saints of bees and beekeeping and found three more:

Bernard of Clairvaux has his holy day coming up soon — 20 August. Like Ambrose, he also seems to have been a honey-tongued merchant with little real connection to bees.

St Valentine of Rome is another patron saint of bees and beekeeping. Apart from being the patron saint of greetings card manufacturers, he is also the patron saint of fainting — I suppose it's all that swooning on St Valentine's day. Again, I can't find much of a beekeeping connection. Well, except perhaps for the birds and the bees ...

But wait, here's another genuine one — Irish again — St Modomnoc:
... an Irish monk who studied with St David at his monastery in Pembrokeshire. When he was due to return to Ireland, some of the bees he had been keeping swarmed on the mast of his ship and, bringing them back with him, he thereby introduced the art of apiculture to his native land.
You can celebrate his feast day of this patron saint of bees (not beekeeping) on 13 February.

UPDATE 10 Feb 2005: here's another one: St Haralampi. He's the Orthodox patron saint of bee-keepers, and is believed to be the first to have discovered the healing powers of honey and bee products. His day is 10 February.



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