PHENOLOGY – a Citizen’s Science

PHENOLOGY – Intuition and Nature returned to Science

” But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself”
– William Blake

Bello Uccello Honey Bee Sanctuary had a wonderful 12 days of warm “January Thaw” and the bees’ cleansing flights and mid-winter housekeeping activities
were quite self-evident by the dirt dropped by them around their hives. They inspired me so much, with their great industry, that I actually started doing my own mid-winter housekeeping – basically by moving several three- foot- piles of books and magazines from one part of the house into the newly designated “Reading Room”. Who needs a formal dining room anyway!? My library is more like a “last resting place” than the action- inspiring new Reading Room!

People often ask what they can do to help the bees. Here is a simple thing which any one can do – become a citizen scientist. This is a very old practice and children and adults are all able to have wonderful adventures by becoming one. No outfit to buy and no other pre-requisites, other than a willingness to be inquisitive and observe the natural world and make your own story from the experiences.


As you think about becoming a natural beekeeper based on biodynamic principles, you actually are considering practicing Citizen’s Science. Here is a lovely definition of Citizen’s Science from Loree Burns children’s book “Citizen Scientists – Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard”:

“Citizen science, then, is the study of our world by the people who live in it. Not just professional people– scientists with degrees and laboratories and fancy equipment — but everyday people, too. All men, women and children who use their senses”,( Imagination and Intuition), ” and smarts to understand the world around them can be citizen scientists.”

As a biodynamic gardener or beekeeper, the phenology calendar of Maria Thun’s “Biodynamic Gardening in North America” is a very helpful tool to help guide you into this wonderful world of interconnectivity and full- aliveness.

Of particular interest to us is the entire field of “Phenology”, which was reflected in the “citizen’s science” practiced by farmers and fishermen, etc. for thousands of
years. Don’t be surprised if you have not heard of it though, because although William Blake was advocating Phenology in his words ” to see the world in a grain of sand”, the Industrial Revolution and the bent scientific methods which
developed side- by- side with this mechanistic worldview, spent much effort separating mankind from his intrinsic connectivity to our earth, nature and the universe.
Do you think the commodification and total disregard for life on this earth could have happened as it has, if mankind was being taught to respect and regard nature, this planet and all living beings as a part of his own being? For sure not!

Today there are many citizens of this Earth and scientists of goodwill and intelligence asking the Questions which must be asked – revealing the Great Error in the old paradigm of the science, wherein both Nature and Intuition were removed from the picture. The old science of the Great Error somehow believed that the sum of the parts equalled the whole and it missed the entire Living Planet Gaia and the amazing Dance of Life which is taking place here in ever transforming and enlivening manifestations. ” There is a fundamental biological imperative that propels you and every organism on this planet to be in a community, to be in relationship with other organisms. It is beyond our imagination to conceive of a single form of life that exists alone and independent, unattached to other forms.”- Bruce Lipton,PhD, Lilipoh Magazine,Fall 2013

Although in the late l800’s there were Phenology Societies where people were recording the patterns in the natural world so the activities of mankind could form a conscious connectivity to the earth and the heavens and their daily lives; they were abruptly stopped by l948 in the UK, at just about the same time as notations of “climate change” were being shared. Our biodynamic beekeeping is based on Phenology. Without this worldview of the life of the honeybee, we would be in a situation where we would not be able to see ” the forrest for the trees” so to speak. The honeybee lives in life- enhancing- relationships and interactions with the cosmos, the world of plants, the elements , the earth, and with all living things. We will never be able to learn all that they have to teach us, but the purpose is to continue to try and see this huge world of Beingness which is all around us and become a positive force of Beingness ourselves in this ocean of life.

My father was a phenologist, and he lived it throughout his entire life. He was a scallop fisherman, as was his entire family going back hundreds of years to Denmark. He
observed not only the weather, but nature too, and acted out his day based on the interconnected patterns unfolding with clouds, winds, stars and weather. He said he could tell where the tides were all the time “inside” of himself. He was connected to the sea and loved it. Every cloud , sunrise and sunset, direction of the winds and colour in the sky had a story to determine the weather, for not only today or tomorrow, but what might happen in several months time. This kind of worldview of Nature and his own life’s path was woven together, into the very fabric of his life and determined the development of his humanity in body, Soul and Spirit.
You cannot grow up feeling and loving and seeing these deep connections of nature and the universe and not see yourself as intricately connected to it all.
We encourage everyone to join in this wonderful dance of phenology and become a citizen scientist in your own world.
If you are interested in researching more about phenology here are some websites listed below and we thank each of you who decide to become a Citizen Scientist.

Phenology – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia‎
Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as …
‎Past records – ‎Modern records – ‎Airborne sensors – ‎See also
USA National Phenology Network‎
Organization’s goal is to facilitate collection and dissemination of data on the timing of life cycle events of plants and animals. Site includes description of …
Phenology | Nature’s Calendar‎
Phenology is the study of the times of recurring natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate. It is recording when you heard the first cuckoo or saw the …
phenology – definition of phenology by the Free Online Dictionary …‎
phe·nol·o·gy (f -n l -j ). n. 1. The scientific study of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, breeding, and migration, in relation to climatic conditions. 2.

bees relaxing through winter's storms

bees relaxing through
winter’s storms


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