PODCAST EPISODE 18: Emily Forrest Mikschi from Embodybee, wandering the East Coast of Australia
There is a quote from Eve Byers’ short documentary, BEEing Kept, where Emily Forrest Mikschi says “I don’t really think you could call me a beekeeper because I feel as though it’s the bees that are keeping me.” What a thought, one to stir over slowly, one that conjures the complexity of the relationship between humans and bees and begs us to think about the depths of that connection. Emily Forrest Mikschi is an enigma. On paper, she is the genius behind her business Embodybee – she educates children and adults alike, keeps bees, sells bee products, safely rehomes, and runs creative bee-oriented workshops. However, she is much more. A sensual soul, a sexual being, with a spiritual connection to bees unlike anyone I have met in the past. Indeed, I am always thrilled to introduce you to each and every one of the guests on the BEES WITH BEN podcast, but this week I am especially excited, as Emily brings a perspective to the table that is raw, ancient, loving, bodily and simultaneously of this world and not – her relationship to bees is one that stimulates all the senses and dips into a kind of consciousness that requires a special kind of intuitive connection to the natural world.
Emily told me of an erotic dream she once had, with bees and a snake. As some of you may know, symbolic meaning has been attributed to natural objects and beings since ancient times, and bees too have their own connection to the spiritual realm. Accessing the depths of consciousness often requires a strong understanding of the body, and how it relates to the earth, time and space. With these things in mind (and they are not small ideas), we might be able to shed some light on Emily’s unique perspective. For Emily, beekeeping is much more than a way to procure honey, or even a way to help the planet; for her, bees are sacred beings, connected intrinsically to love and worship. With this in mind, Emily has made it her life’s mission to “re-sacralise the bee”, or, make it a scared being once again. Invested in a kind of mutual relationship with bees – a sort of sensual and spiritual love affair – Emily approaches bees from a position of love and respect, and hopes that this approach is adopted more widely, so that all forms of apiary centre on symbiosis – a mutual and beneficial relationship between humans and, as Emily calls them, “sun beings”.
Make sure you tune in to listen to Emily and I wander through the depths of her sacred, spiritual and sensual practice that is far more than just beekeeping. We chat about Emily’s vision, her business Embodybee, spirituality, and getting naked and honey-dipped with the bees themselves. Tempted? I bet!