Bees at Lambeth Palace

Since becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has arranged to have ten beehives set up at Lambeth Palace.

The Telegraph reports:

The bees are back at Lambeth Palace. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, sought out experts to set up hives in its grounds shortly after his appointment, and now there are 10.

Bees have been having a hard time of it recently, what with the varroa virus and the mysterious new syndrome that wipes out colonies. Their troubles seem sad, for bees have been regarded highly both in reality and in imagery for hundreds of years.

At the most solemn time of the Christian year, the feast of Easter, the bee figures in the formal hymn of praise to the light of the candle lit at the Vigil, representing the light of the risen Christ. “Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honour of God,” sings the deacon. “For it is fed by the melting wax, which the mother bee brought forth to make this precious candle.”

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