How we created the Bee in Belmont
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Thursday 25th November 2021

The latest addition to the Belmont synagogue grounds, adding to the biblical themes of the shul gardens, are 2 richly painted beehives, created by ‘surface artist’. They are there to attract people, not bees, their innards having been emptied out so that there is no place for the bees to create honeycomb.

The twin ideas of bees and honey appear frequently throughout the Torah and the various Books of the Prophets. Moshe was promised that we could enter a land flowing with milk and honey. This promise related to date honey and the signs of a fertile land. So, two sides of the larger beehive show 7 separate flowing streams of the biblical species: wheat, barley, dates, grapes, olives, pomegranates and figs. In the centre of these flows is a bee. This is a reference to the prophetess Devorah – that name being the Hebrew word for bee. She was a Judge and led the people into victorious battle. She also appears in an abstract manner on the opposite side of the hive, to a figurative lion. Ch. 14 of the Book of Judges is where the story is told of Samson, killing a lion with his bare hands and in whose chest cavity, bees settled down and created honey. An image of a lion and the verse “from strength came forth sweetness” is still on the centre of all Tate and Lyle products.

The second hive was imagined in 2 art workshops, one for adults and one for children, run over half term with both hives then completed by Julie Anne. The sides show colourful flowers and the hexagons of honeycomb. In addition to encouraging us to think about having a sweet year all year round, a beehive symbolizes Belmont community at its strongest, with our members like a colony of bees, working at various tasks together towards a common goal, producing a rich outcome. Thanks go to sponsor Elvin Samson and the artists young and old alike who helped in the creation of our 2 unique features. Truly from strength comes forth sweetness and from sweetness comes forth strength.

By David Lerner