Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 15 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Nikolaus Gross
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Meet the bee-enthusiast who's also a Benedictine monk (VIDEO)


KPBS via Facebook | Fair Use

Sophia Swinford - published on 01/26/18

He hopes the craft will live on in the community.

One of only 22 monks living in Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, California, Brother Blaise has been the abbey’s beekeeper for over 42 years. A labor of love and more, beekeeping is more than a job or hobby; it’s a source of spiritual contemplation.

During his 30 years teaching scripture classes for kids, he often used his bees as an explanation for the sacrifice of Christ and the growth of His Church. Surprised? It’s actually quite straightforward! When a drone fertilizes a queen bee, he dies during the mating process. But once the queen bee is fertilized, she can produce almost a million eggs within her lifetime. Because of his sacrifice, his “bride” can bring life to many more.

Though Brother Blaise thought he had left beekeeping behind when he entered the abbey, rumors about his skills spread and soon the abbey received almost donated 100 hives from widows looking to give away their husbands’ bees.

“All of a sudden people started giving me their hives and I became the bee man,” he said.

Brother Blaise was diagnosed with cancer last year, but he hopes to pass on his enthusiasm for beekeeping to his students. Every Sunday, he invites kids to help him care for the bees and extract honey.

Jars of the honey are sold by the abbey, and, though the brothers say they don’t make a lot of money from it, Fr. Paul Farrelly says, “[The bees] really love him and they put a lot of love in the honey that they produce for him, and you can taste it.”

Hear more from Br. Blaise in the video above.


Read more:
Benedictines in the desert: A life of prayer in New Mexico

FoodPracticing Mercy
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.