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The Bees They Are A'Drummin

Bee Day

May 20

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“🎶 Oh what a wonderful thing to be
A healthy, grown-up, busy, busy bee
Whiling away all the passing hours
Pinching all the pollen from the cauliflowers
I'd like to be a busy little bee
Being as busy as a bee can be
Flying round the garden, brightest ever seen
Taking back the honey to the dear old queen."

~ Busy Bee, Arthur Askey, 1937

This "busy busy bee" dance was specially devised for a longterm and serving member of the RSCDS who was also a beekeeper and a drummer! This lively reel will keep you buzzing! Interestingly, bees make a variety of sounds besides the well known buzz, including a drumming or trembling sound and a piping sound as well! Here's a fascinating list of bee sounds:
Buzzing: This is the most recognizable sound bees make. It comes from the rapid beating of their wings, typically around 200 beats per second.
Humming: Similar to buzzing, but often softer and at a different frequency, humming can be heard when bees are at rest or working inside the hive.
Piping: This sound is made by queen bees. It’s a high-pitched sound that can be heard when a queen bee is in a confrontation with another queen or when she is preparing to leave the hive with a swarm.
Tooting: This sound is similar to piping but is usually made by worker bees to communicate within the hive.
Fanning: Worker bees create a fanning sound by beating their wings rapidly to circulate air within the hive, helping to regulate temperature and humidity.
Drumming, Trembling or Shaking: Bees can make a shaking or trembling sound by vibrating their bodies, often used in communication within the hive, particularly in signaling or during the waggle dance.
Feel the beat, Bees! 🌼 🍯 🐝 🐝 🐝 🥁 🥁 🥁

The Bees They Are A'Drummin

In Scottish folklore, bees hold a special place, often seen as messengers between the human world and the spiritual realm. They are believed to possess a wisdom that connects them to the ancient traditions of the land. One intriguing custom is the practice of "telling the bees," where important news, such as births, marriages, or deaths, would be shared with the beehive to ensure good fortune and prevent the bees from leaving. In the Scottish Highlands, bees were also thought to bring blessings to a household and were associated with fertility and prosperity.


Should you want to hear Arthur Askey's  "Busy Bee" song, click the bees!


The Bees They Are A'Drummin

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Bees They Are A'Drummin

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