The Honey Bus by Meredith May

– The Honey Bus is my story
about being raised by bees. My parents divorced when I was five, and I was left in the
care of my grandfather. He was a bee keeper, In Big Surry, he had a hundred hives down the coast. I was very confused, no
one every explained to me what had happened and why I suddenly lived with my grandfather,
and he comforted me by bringing me down to his hives, and that’s where I watched bees and I watched how they behave, and I watched how they love one another and all the life lessons my
parents couldn’t teach me, I learned from watching
how bees interact together. The Honey Bus was an actual bus that my grandfather had in the backyard, an old World War II bus that he gutted and he built a honey factory inside and that’s where we
harvested honey together. As a little girl, five, six, seven, he would talk to me about bees while we were inside bottling honey, and he would use metaphors about bees. The queen, for example,
can’t feed herself, or get her own water, or keep warm, so she needs all her daughters to do it. And so there’s a symbiotic relationship because the queen is the only bee in the hive that can lay eggs. There is this matriarchy inside a hive that thrives by loving each other and caring for each other
and I think as a small girl, I needed to see that, even though I couldn’t really understand
why or what I was learning. I’m also a beekeeper now,
but I don’t do it for money, I don’t do it as a hobby, I do it because I feel like bees raised me and in a way they’re like parents to me, so now I need to take care of them. My story is a story
about alternative family. And family is all around
you, even in nature, and even the tiniest
creatures can raise you but you have to be open to see it. (inspirational music)


  1. Amazing to see the pictures. Finished listening to your book this morning. A beautifully written book. Profound and deeply moving. In the end Meredith, you were the luckiest girl in the whole wide world. May your grandpa rest in sweet bee peace. May your gran have many a listening ear when she talks politics and may your mom only know gentleness and love and light wherever she is now. Self-hatred is a powerful force.

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