Lest the Darkness Obscure the Light

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Natural Beekeeping Trust - Sun Hive Bees

Life’s but a walking shadow…

It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

Shakespeare, Macbeth

comb of rescue bees

 The vast majority of the life of the bee is spent in shadow, inside the hive, where only a dim light penetrates. Yet the bee navigates in the bright light outside the hive using polarized sunlight. Shadow and light, two seeming opposites, yet the bee lives easily with both. Goethe realized that both darkness and light are needed to create colour. It is an easy experiment to do: mix the two and a rainbow is formed. Light alone does not produce colour, neither does darkness, a balance of the two is needed. Yet the standard, Newtonian, analysis of colour is that it derives from light alone. The need for darkness, the very existence of darkness, is ignored. When we forget the existence of something, we fail to see…

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