Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why Dō - A Way with Bees

If you look up Do (Way) in Wikipedia you will see it described as a spiritual, martial, or aesthetic discipline that evolved in Japan.

“In Japanese, a Dō implies a body of knowledge and tradition with an ethic and an aesthetic, and having the characteristics of specialization (senmonsei), transmissivity (keishōsei), normativity (kihansei), universality (kihensei), and authoritativeness (ken'isei)”

If you surf to the article that contains a List of Dōs you will see it includes various martial arts such as my personal favorite Aikido, the Way of harmonious spirit, which is described as Compassionate hand-to-hand fighting.

In addition to the martial arts you will see many dōs that, like beekeeping, are not of a combative nature. These include:
  • Chadō, or sadō, or chanoyu, the Way of tea
  • Kadō or Ikebana, the Way of flowers
Flower arrangement
  • Kōdō, the Way of incense/fragrance
Appreciation of incense
Traditional Japanese brush calligraphy
  • Tao or Dào (Chinese usage), the Way of the universe. The cosmic ordering principal of nature.
Inspired by the above list I suggest that it might be useful to consider developing and exploring a Way of Beekeeping.

If Aikido is the Way of harmonious spirit, then perhaps a portmanteau word could be duct-taped together, MacGyver-like, to create the term:
AiBeeDo : the Way of harmonious Beekeeping.

The westernized loanword akidoka, meaning “a person practicing the art, regardless of their degree of accomplishment” could be further modified for use in a beekeeping context to create the term: AiBeeDoKa: a person practicing the art of harmonious beekeeping.

Perhaps a shorter term, beedoka, might be easier to remember as a way of referring to a person practicing a harmonious Way of being with and keeping bees.

As an urban beekeeper, living in a dense residential neighborhood in a Big City, I think that developing a Way of keeping one or two beehives in a harmonious manor might be a Good Thing for myself, the neighbors, and the bees.

Discovering, navigating, and sharing that Path on a regular basis is my intention for the Beekeeper’s Dojo.

- Dennis

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