Keeping of Bees – A Liturgy

From Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey



Proverbs 24:13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.



One of the blessings of being a part of mBridge and the greater Evergreen Brands is that I occasionally have the opportunity to be on a podcast to share a little bit of my personal and pastoral journey. This past week I got to be on the Podcast – Teach Me Bees, hosted by Dave Wescott and Scott Calentine. Dave and Scott run a new company called Honey for Hope, a commercial bee company that will be giving half their profit back to mBridge and the noble causes we support. 

On the Teach Me Bees podcast, which can be found on YouTube by the way, I shared a little about the long history of bees in both church history, God’s word and Jewish history. A little-known fun fact is that bees and honey are mentioned about 60 times in scripture and hold the top spot of all of God’s creations right alongside camels. 

Bees have long been kept by the church since its inception and have often been used as an analogy for the kingdom of God. Wax produced by bees since the 4th century was exclusively used in churches and cathedrals for its cleaner burning than oil lamps, which would in time cover everything with a black layer of soot. Even the modern bee hive box and frame configuration is credited to a pastor from Philadelphia. Rev. L.L. Langstroth developed the box and frame hive which is now called the Langstroth hive. It is the standard hive used in the bee industry today. 

We ended the podcast with a wonderful prayer for the keeping of bees by Douglas McKelvey that is found in his book, “Every Moment Holy.”  I’d like to share it with you.

We thank you, O God for the blessing of bees, for the wonder of their work, for the sweetness of their offerings, and the delight of their harvest. We thank you, O God, for the industry of the hive, which is like a picture of the kingdom of heaven, always at work, in ten million places, unseen. 

We thank you too for the small comedy of the creatures, for the humor of their constant severity, for the buzz and the bumbling of bees in flight, for the sight of bees being slender stalks to harvest in the blooms, their feet shod in bristling boots of gold, their backs fuzed with bright yellow dust that is the color of joy made visible. 

So varied are your creatures, O God, So wise your creations!

For the blessing of bees we thank you: for their bright and varied stripes, and for the potent sting you have granted them to guard the life of the hive against the harms of a nature now fallen and hostile. We thank you for imbuing them with an ingenuity of architecture to build the perfect geometry of the comb a golden cathedral that cannot be accounted an accident. 

We thank you, O God for the miracle of bees in their labors, for their tireless industry – may it inspire us to serve, for their generosity – may we also produce enough to share. 

Bless these, your creatures which you have given into the strive of your image bearers. May they be fruitful. 

Bless these, your creatures; may their honey be plentiful and sweet. May they find in fields of clover and wild bloom a bountiful harvest of nectars, that we might gladly share the abundance of their labors, delighting in the sustenance and small pleasures you have provided us through them. 

Bless these bees, O God, and bless their keepers. For all creatures are you, be and keeper alike. Together may our co-labors resound to your praise and glory. 



A Bee Keeper in God’s Kingdom