“And if you ask about its fruits, they are softer than butter and sweeter than honey [...]
And if you ask about its rivers, there are rivers of milk whose taste does not change, rivers of wine that is delicious to those who drink it, rivers of honey that is pure and rivers of fresh water.”
Ibn al-Qayyim's description of Paradise and its pleasures
The bee is considered the most important insect for mankind and nature. It serves humanity as plant pollinator and producer of propolis, wax, royal jelly and honey.
It is not only their precious products that were valued by humans and connected them from the early times. The close cohesive bonds of the bee hive have also preoccupied the human mind. Its monarchical administrative organization was studied by political scientists. The remarkable self-sacrifice and industriousness of bees inspired religions, and the myths surrounding them sparked artistic creations. However, bees are still an unknown territory. While the bees form perfectly organized societies, the way they operate and get along remains unknown and at the same time intriguing.
The gardens of the Mohammed Ali Museum are a haven for hundreds of bees dedicated to harvesting pollen and pollinating plants. Roses, oregano, lavender and plants rich in colors and scents that attract bees, are grown in the museum's gardens. A small amount of sugar mixed with water is enough for the daily energy the bees need, while a shallow bowl of clean water, petals and stones provides coolness for the tireless workers who keep the gardens blooming. The Museum becomes a place where children, students and adult visitors learn, play, express and take an active role in the protection of bees and natural balance.
Today thousands of bee species are found living a nomadic life in forests, mountains and cities, and fewer living in apiaries. Their work has only one purpose: respecting nature. Bees help pollinate 70% of plant species, so their value for the environment and humans is beyond valuable. The continuous decrease in their population, however, causes concern and intensifies the need for their protection. Pathogens, pests, inadequate regeneration, malnutrition and inappropriate use of crop chemicals are just some of the factors responsible for their decline. Their disappearance would constitute a threat to the greenery and life on the planet.
Keeping a hive also entails responsibility for the beekeeper. Bees have a right to abundant flowers, unlimited water, fresh air. They have a right to quiet, peace and respect. Man must respect and ensure their rights. Caring for the bee is caring for the planet. The bee provides man with food, fiber, fuel, beauty, health. As long as man cares for its species and the environment, the bee will continue to fertilize the world. The bee can live without man, but can man live without bees?