The Big Question: Rev. Libby Manning

How do you take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally?

I practice the ancient, sacred art of beekeeping.

I have 12 hives in my apiary on my small hobby farm near Lapel, IN, where we harvest between 300 and 500 pounds of honey each year.

My family got interested in the hobby after reading about colony collapse disorder and the devastating plight of the bees.

Bees are the only nonpredatory organism: They don’t prey on or harm any living thing, and yet all life is dependent on them for sustenance and survival because bees pollinate one out of every three bites of food we eat. There is something sacred and profound in that for me and
my family. How might we live with the least harm and smallest carbon footprint to the environment around us, and at the same time how might we contribute to abundant life and flourishing of life around us?

For me, the beehive is a spiritual metaphor for the early Christian community; it encourages me to mentally slow down and pay attention to the little things and my interdependence on all of life.

Being outside with the bees is physically life-giving for me.

Libby Manning
Associate Director,
Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program