Mystery of bees and religious icons

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Honey is said to have preservative qualities, but several beekeepers have discovered a

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curious practice of bees preserving religious icons placed within their hives, according to a report by Aleteia.

A beekeeper near Athens, Isidoros Timinis, placed icons in his hives with the thought of blessing his bees and possibly helping his yearly honey production.

“Every year, the very same mysterious phenomenon occurs: bees make their honeycomb cells around the pious images, meticulously avoiding covering them. Could it simply be a phenomenon related to some effect in the painting itself, which might prevent bees from building their honeycombs on them?”

La Vierge Marie et le petit Jésus entourés d’alvéoles
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Another beekeeper — a monk named Simon – placed a handmade icon of the crucified Christ next to the two thieves who that died next to him. The bees reportedly built their hive around the icon, refusing to cover either Jesus or the figure of the “good thief” at Christ’s right hand.

Amazingly, the thief on his left, who rejected Christ’s invitation to paradise, was covered!

The same monk also placed an icon of Stephen, the first martyr of the early church, and it was left uncovered over Stephen’s face and body.

Saint Stéphane entouré par alvéoles
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“The mystery endures as to how the bees can recognize holy images, let alone treat them in a respectful and pious manner.” — Aleteia