Step out of the familiar world of sunlit surfaces for a moment, and enter the tremulous heart of the forest. At La Donaira, we have constructed a bee-bed, one of only a handful in the world that allows you to do just this. Set atop a long horizontal hive where you are separated from the bees by thin planks and can bathe in their warmth and vibration and smells without any danger of being stung, you are invited to immerse all your your senses in another world, filled with immune boosting pheromones, the sweet scent of honey and propolis, the murmur of a hundred thousand wings, and the throb of a gentle vibration softly humming through your bones.

Inspired by Heidi Herrman, one of the founders of the Natural Bee Keeping Trust whose skills and knowledge (recommended watching: HERE) are matched by a keen sense of the spiritual essence of the bee, the purpose of the bee-bed is to offer others an experience capable of imparting something of that essence.

A plan was subsequently located modified according to instructions by Jonathan Powell, a colleague of Heidi at the Natural Beekeeping Trust, and built by a carpenter from the village.

While normally we rarely have the opportunity to get up close and personal with even a single bee, wary of a potential sting, the safe intimacy of the bee-bed is designed to offer you a palpable sense of communion with these remarkable creatures impossible to achieve in any other way. Feel the living body of the earth respire and sing as the hive pumps in pollen and pumps out pollination, marvel at the elegance of a creature whose ceaseless industriousness enriches all around it, learn about natural beekeeping practices (bee-centered-husbandry), and undergo a rare experience during which body and mind become one with the bees.

The hive connects the earth to the sky, the flowers to each other, and now through this unique experience, may well connect you to a feeling for the natural world that is palpable and whole – heart and head, body and soul.

Photo: Anna Maria Indra

Photo: Anna Maria Indra

Photo: Anna Maria Indra