Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shut up the Bee (for St Matthew's Day)

St Mathee, shut up the Bee;
St Mattho, take thy hopper and sow;
St Mathy, all the year goes by
St Matthie, sends sap into the tree
St Matthew
Brings the cold, rain and Dew

NB I am unable to put a date on this poem. Can you help?


  1. As a beekeeper, all I can say is he didn't know bees! bees will happily forage while weather conditions permit, and even come and go in winter, often just for brief "cleansing" flights(bees are very clean and don't "go" indoors)
    But from now on, beekeepers will be feeding up their bees and keeping a close eye on them. Next month we remove the queen excluder that lets royalty go upstairs to snuggle at the cenrte of the beeball the bees use to keep warm in cold weather.
    Wonderful to hear the old lore; wonder quite how old this one is!

  2. Thanks Viv,

    A beekeeper myself, until last winter finished my hives. I'm not sure what is meant by 'shut up the Bee'perhaps adding some medieval mouse guard?

  3. I have to say I was thinking of the mouse guard too. I gave up my bees when children arrived - I have a very small garden. But I do miss them - they had a sense of rhythm of the seasons. It cetainly rings of autumn.
    Happy Feast day St Matthew - the Orthodox Church has his feast day in November which makes more sense for the mouseguard so maybe this is before the time of the Schism?

  4. That is an excellent point that I hadn't considered. Thank you!


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