Order of Bees
Ritual of the First Degree - Benevolence
Opening of Colony
The Recording Bee raps for order.
King Bee to First Colony Watchman: Brother Watchman, ascertain if all Bees in our Colony are in possession of the current pass-word.
First Colony Watchman proceeds around the hall to each member. If all have pass words, he proceeds to center of hail and addresses King Bee:
First Colony Watchman: Brother King Bee, I find all Bees of the Colony in possession of the current pass word, Or, Brother King Bee, I find all Brother Bees of the Colony in possession of the pass word with the exception of …. In this case:
King Bee: Present the Bee without the pass word.
If the King Bee is satisfied that the Brother is entitled to the pass word he gives it to him—otherwise instructs him to leave the hall.
King Bee, addressing Royal Bee: Brother Royal Bee, do you think I am safe?
Royal Bee to King Bee: Fear nothing, we support our Bees.
Royal Bee to Noble, Bee: Will you go out of your way to support your Brother Bees?
Noble Bee to Royal Bee: Why should I not? He gives us more honey.
Noble Bee arises and proceeds to station of drone Bees. They place themselves on each side of Noble Bee, and proceed to station of King Bee.
Noble Bee to King Bee: Brother King Bee, I present two of our Colony for your personal support.
King Bee: Your act of going out of your way to give me this support makes me more zealous to carry out the principles of our order.
Two raps of gavel.
Royal Bee: Supreme Ruler of the Universe, we beseech Thy guidance and protection; may our works be clothed with wisdom; may we be drawn closer together to a realization of a true brotherly love, strengthen and keep us we pray. Amen.
One rap of gavel.
King Bee: I now declare this colony open in the Third Degree.
Order of Business
1. Roll call by Recording Bee.
2. Reading of minutes of last swarm.
3. Approval of minutes.
4. Presentation of application for membership.
5. Voting on approved applications.
6. Initiation of candidates.
7. Unfinished business from last Swarm.
8. Report from Standing Committees.
9. Report from special committees.
10. Collection of dues.
11. General business.
12. A quorum shall consist of seven members.
Hive Watchman will proceed to ante-room with candidate, and blind-fold him, also secure him with chains: place themselves on each side of candidate and give two raps on Colony door.
Inside Hive Watchman: Who signals at the door of this Colony?
Colony Watchman: I have a stranger, found in our flower garden, who seeks to be enlightened in the truth of our Order.
Hive Watchman faces King Bee.
Hive Watchman: Brother King Bee, our Colony Watchman has a stranger who seeks admittance into our colony, in order to be enlightened in the truth of our order.
King Bee: Admit him.
Hive Watchman opens the door. Colony Watchman walks candidate around hall one time, during which the entire assembly make a noise imitating a bee humming. After completing circuit of hall, humming ceases. Second round is made in absolute silence except as mentioned. When candidate passes station of Royal Bee, Royal Bee says, in slow and impressive voice:
Royal Bee: And the greatest of these is charity.
In passing station of King Bee, King Bee says: Take care of your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.
In passing station of Noble Bee, Noble Bee says: United we stand, divided we fall.
Colony Watchman then conducts candidate to station of Noble Bee.
Noble Bee addressing Colony Watchman: Watchman, where did you find this stranger?
Watchman: We found him with pinioned wings in our flower garden, Noble Bee.
Noble Bee: Why did you seek to hove him admitted in our Colony?
Watchman: He is in bondage and unable to sip the cream of the honey.
Noble Bee: Hath stranger been stung?
Watchman: Yes, but we think he will live.
Noble Bee: Conduct stranger to our Royal Bee for further investigation.
Watchman to Royal Bee: We have in our midst a poor blind beggar, who wishes to get out of the darkness into light.
Royal Bee to Colony: Brother Bees, shall we present him before our King. who is so noble and grand?
Colony: Yes, for our King is truly benevolent.
Watchman conducts him to station of King Bee. King Bee to Watchman: Behold, why should I look upon this afflicted sight! Watchman, drop down on thy knees.
King Bee to Two Drone Bees: Relieve this persecuted Bee.
The drone Bees take off the chains and remove the bandage from the eyes.
King Bee to Watchman: Arise, Watchman, and go out among our flower gardens, and bring in all who are in bondage, before they perish.
Watchmen resume their station. Drone Bees place themselves on each side of candidate.
King Bee to Candidate: Stranger, why did you come to our Colony?
Candidate, coached by Drone Bees: To overcome the high cost of living, and to better my condition.
King Bee: You do not object, if we, as a body of working Bees, reduce your living expenses, honestly, fairly amid squarely?
King Bee: Will you encourage your family to help overcome the great problem of high cost of living?
Candidate: I will.
King Bee: Will you attend your swarm meetings as often as possible?
Candidate: I will.
King Bee: Would you rob a brother Bees hive or see him stung?
King Bee: Will you guard your Brother Bees hive during sickness and grief, and do all in your power to comfort him?
Candidate: I will.
King Bee: Do you know it is not what we make but how we spend, that makes us good Bees?
Candidate: I do.
King Bee: Stranger, before taking you further in our colony, you will be required to take the solemn obligation of oar order.
Two raps of gavel.
King Bee: Place your right hand on the Book of God, and repeat after me: I do solemnly promise I will never reveal the secret work of the Order of Bees, divulge the permanent or current pass word, or give out any information of what transpires in the hail of this order; I will never convert to writing any secret information of the Order, or permit it to be done in my presence, if it is in my power to prevent it, I will obey the Constitution and By-laws of the Order to the best of my ability; I will never connect myself with any branch of this Order that secedes from the authority of the Grand Colony; I will never knowingly injure a brother in this Order, but will co-operate and aid him whenever it is within my power to do so; to the performance of which I pledge my sacred word of honor.
King Bee: Conduct stranger to the Royal Bee for further instruction.
Royal Bee: Strangers, you have received to some extent some of the principles of benevolence.
Benevolence, how much is implied by this word; kindness, charity, love, the disposition to do good. To relieve want and distress of others. Are we not all constantly in search of happiness, peace of soul, contentment. Do we not all want to feel that we have lived well our part, and made the world better and happier, during our probation period on earth, which is a school that educates us for a better life beyond. How often have we longed to aid a fellow man in distress; to help the widow and fatherless, to promote a good cause. Kind words, a hearty handshake and an encouraging smile do much, but they cannot relieve the gnawing pangs of hunger, clothe the ragged body, nor buy the needed medicine, pay the doctor bill, nor afford shelter from the cold. One of the grandest objects of the Order of the Bees s to point the way to become able, how to do good—not merely be good. Doing denotes activity—Busy Bees ever on the alert to help another Bee. We have been taught the lesson of faith, hope and charity—and the greatest of these is charity.
Benevolence not on[y means doing good and aiding the worthy poor—but true Benevolence will extend an outstretched hand to those who seem worthless and unworthy. It will teach us that an erring man has perhaps not had an equal. chance in life, through birth, environment or inheritance or mental deformity, for which he may not be responsible. Many a man has been reclaimed to a life of usefulness because of the faith of one person in him. There is a spark of good in every human heart, and let us try to find it ever. Let us deal with the erring ones, with kindness, gentleness, tactfulness. When we see an erring one struggling to overcome some great fault in his nature, trying to turn from a life of mistakes, extend to him a helping hand. Help him to rise out of the mire. He needs you. Here is your opportunity to do a benevolent act. Restrain from kicking him with your tongue. Only his Maker knows the great fight going on within his soul, and how the devil is struggling to bring him back. Do not aid his downfall. It is easy to go down hill, climbing up is hard; easy to float down stream, but hard to swim back. Be benevolent in thought, word and deed. Thus become a strong and able man— a strong and noble Bee—a great power for good in your home, town, city, State and Nation, and the good that you have done will never end—though your body will return to dust, you have built with your hands a beautiful home for your soul.
King Bee: Stranger having taken the obligation of our order, and having been instructed in its principles, I now create you a Humble Bee, and bestow upon you the degree of Benevolence. May you ever live according to its teachings.
King Bee to Colony Watchman: Conduct the Humble Bee to the ante-room for further orders.
Royal Bee: Almighty God, dismiss us with Thy blessing; be with us in our flights, and return us safely to our colony; Thy will be done. Amen.
King Bee: I now declare this meeting of the Colony closed.
Proceed, my Bees, bo your separate hives. Gather in the honey that you may live and prosper.
Opening of Colony