by Sr. Prisca Ovat MMM     Kenya     16.07.2022

bee resizedBees, as many of us would have become aware, are numbered among great pollinators of over 75% of global leading crops.  Many MMMs and friends would recall the sweet honey often given away by the MMM sisters in Makiungu.  They valued bee farming and, as a result, many become beneficiaries. Little wonder our African ancestors, in their illiteracy, and even among the classroom-uneducated of our time, are in the fight for bee preservation. 

Now, listen to this story.

A certain family made a decision to honor their king father who died while some of them were only toddlers. This story is told by one of the sons. While preparations went on, these ancestors who, according to tradition, are the reason for every achievement and mishap were forgotten. However, in their benevolence, the ceremony was successfully completed. But they would not rest until their right is given them. They paid a visit, in the form of bees.

Thousands of bees were said to have gathered at the eldest son’s house, and for one week, they watched, wondering what it was all about. Quietly, they hung and waited until a soothsayer was consulted. “Those are your ancestors”, he said. He further instructed them to gather a few items for offering – palm oil, yam, a streak of meat and palm wine. “Set everything at their feet,” he further instructed, “acknowledge their support over the years and especially over the successful completion of the king’s memorial. Be sure to apologize for your inability to recognize their presence”.

At these orders, the family set out in search, and when all was ready, they did as they were told. In a few hours, the bees dispersed, but without consuming the offering. Before this departure however, a few bees came hovering round the eldest son, sat on his head for a few seconds and departed, with this as a sign of thank you and goodbye, the bunch of bees apparently disappeared as no one recalled seeing them go.

Quite often we hear these as an African tale. Here was the confession of a witness.