A shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan shows consideration for all of its patrons, from the humans to the bees!
Water is a necessary commodity for life, and it becomes doubly important during the sweltering months of summer. This is true for all forms of life, not just humans, and even the smallest of bugs will be found seeking out this most precious liquid.
At the entrance of Japanese shrines, you’ll find a basin of water supplied with wooden ladles to be used for ritual cleansing of the hands and mouth before entering the shrine. While humans can differentiate between drinking water and water reserved for special purposes like this, other animals just see a much-needed thirst quencher, which can prove to be a bit of a problem when it starts attracting creatures like bees.
▼A temizuya at Meiji Shrine
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Fg2
Hitokotonushi Shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture, located just north of Tokyo, has received a lot of positive attention recently after sharing its solution to keeping visitors safe from agitated bees without taking any negative action against the normally peaceful pollinators.
【ミツバチ専用水飲み場】 暑くなるとミツバチさんが団体で手水舎に水を飲みに来ます。 ミツバチは性格もおとなしく滅多に人を刺したりしませんが、怖がる人もいらっしゃるので専用水飲み場を作りました。 暖かく見守っていただければ幸いです。 https://t.co/ZFTsjsJ3yi—
一言主神社 (@hitokoto0913) August 08, 2016
On their Twitter account, they posted a photo of what looks to be a flower pot, fill with water, moss, and rocks, as well as a photo of the accompanying sign, which reads:
“When it gets hot outside, bees tend to gather around the temizuya for a drink. While bees are generally docile and rarely sting people, we understand there are those who are afraid of them, so we’ve made a special drinking spot for the bees. We appreciate your kind understanding.”
The reaction from commentors has been overwhelmingly positive:
“What a kind way of thinking.”
“That’s so nice. It warms my heart.”
“These bees are lucky to have found a place with such a nice priest.”
“I feel all warm and fuzzy.”
In addition, as it turns out that the bees prefer running water, the shrine’s priest split a small stalk of bamboo in half in order to carry flowing water for the temizuya to the bees’ special drinking spot.
【ミツバチ専用水飲み場 :改】 水は常時流れているほうが良いとのことなので、竹を割いて手水の流れ口脇から漏れる水を水飲み場に誘導。贅沢な『かけ流し』になりました。 追加でミツバチさんがわかりやすいように立て看板を設置^_^; https://t.co/CJD71Lbt4p—
一言主神社 (@hitokoto0913) August 09, 2016
We just have to say, this seems like a great place to bee!
Source/featured image: Twitter/@hitokoto0913
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