It is World Bee Day on May 20.
In 1734, on that day one Anton Jansa was born, to be revered forever by his fellow apiarists as the pioneer of modern bee-keeping.
He was wise: "Bees are a type of fly, hardworking, created by God to provide man with all needed honey and wax.
"Amongst all God's beings there are none so hard working and useful to man with so little attention needed for its keep as the bee."
In Canberra, we know that. The Australian capital is - how to put it - a hive of activity. The place buzzes with love for the industrious suppliers of sweetness.
Not least at Parliament House where the bees might be an example for the humans - the hive is a place of quiet industry, without histrionics, cooperation, steady production without controversy.
The bees in the parliamentary garden continue their work uninterrupted by elections. The beekeeper, Cormac Farrell, said they were wild bees which were captured and brought to the hives.
A different type of queen bee had to be introduced - a carniolan honey bee, actually. It's a type which originated in what is today Slovenia (of which more later).
The original queen from the wild swarm was removed because she and her type tend to be too grouchy and difficult.
"The wild swarm queens that established the hives are sometimes too feisty to keep in public gardens," said Mr Farrell.
"The queen sets the temperament of the hive and, as a result, changing the queen will change the mood of the hive."
So the new, nicer queens were bought and brought - by post. There are breeders all over Australia, though the parliamentary queens seem to have come from Orange.
You can't just post a queen bee in an envelop. They have to be in special "cages", attended by other bees.
"It seems incredible but the system works well with hardly any royal deaths," said Mr Farrell.
"Once received, the beekeeper will remove the old queen from the hive and carefully place the travel cage inside."
The new queen is released and she also exudes a chemical which makes her attractive to males.
Then, it's down to business.
The deal is that the female worker bees - Australian wild bees - gather nectar from flowers and take it to the hive. The role of the queen - who has a Slovenian background - is to be fertilised by the Australian male workers.
The male workers have no other purpose beyond fertilising the female. They die after doing their bit. It's a job with an upside and a downside.
The queen can lay more than a thousand eggs a day, more than her own body weight.
In this amazing process, the nectar - the sweet extract from flowers - is turned into honey to sustain the hive.
We take the honey and eat it or sell it.
This process of having honey to sweeten our lives is as ancient as civilisation both back in Europe and here in Australia.
The Jewish and Christian Old Testament refers to the promised land as "a land flowing with milk and honey."
According to the Australian Native Bee Company, "Aboriginal people have known and used native bees for food and tools for thousands of years.
"Honey was presented to tribal elders by hunters as a sign of respect. Native bee honey acted as a popular sweetener and was searched for and found in nests located in trees, stumps, rocky crevices and muddy river banks."
And so this wonderful process is kept going by the parliamentary hives and countless other urban ones.
According to Cormac Farrell, there is an innovative Australian system with the hives on parliament hill.
The bees' home there is called a Flow Hive and it's constructed so the honey can be removed much more easily than the conventional way which involved the beekeeper donning space-suit style protection and everybody else keeping far away, behind closed windows ideally.
The bees would have to be smoked out of the hives (which, not surprisingly, angered them). Frames would have to be lifted out and drained of honey using a centrifuge.
With the new system used on parliament hill, a tap lets the honey flow.
"The best thing about this is that it allows us to harvest honey out of the hive in a very low stress way," said Mr Farrell. "We are not bothering the bees. As he drains the honey, the bees refill.
There's another innovation - a solar-powered transmitter on the hive which relays sounds and movement back to monitors.
"It's listening for various hive states so it's listening for the sound they make when they are swarming; the sound they make when they are in trouble; when they have lost their queen; and also the sound they make when they are happy and productive.
"And it's a pretty good system. It allows us to monitor the hives remotely but it also has a nice little function of theft detection if the hive is bumped or knocked."
These are particular innovations, connecting bees to the internet. But a parliamentary hive is not an innovation in itself. There was one in Old Parliament House.
In 1976, the speaker, Sir Billy Snedden, approved the first parliamentary beehives, apparently only by going along with what he assumed was a prank. He said 'yes' to the request thinking it was a joke.
It happened when the MP William Yates from the Melbourne suburb of Holt asked the speaker for permission to install two hives in the House of Representatives garden.
The date of the request: April 1. Assuming it was an April Fool's Day joke, Sir Billy said "yes".
The fortunate mistake permitted the bees and parliamentary honey became a popular Canberra souvenir.
Legend has it that it even helped smooth over a dispute (sweeten the bitterness) with Gough Whitlam.
Mr Yates, a Liberal and before that a Conservative in Britain, sent the Labor leader a jar of honey after a particularly heated exchange in a parliamentary debate.
So the bees were peacemakers in the old parliament. They did, though, have their disruptive side. Mr Holt is reputed to have failed to damp the smoke when he was collecting honey and that set off the parliamentary fire alarm.
Despite the trouble, it was decided that the new Parliament House should also have its bees. As greenery went up the political agenda, head gardener, Paul Janssens, said hives would help protect the wider environment.
"Bees matter to humans," he said. "Without the pollinating power of bees, things like fruit, seeds and nuts can't grow, which means we won't see foods like potatoes, broad beans and tomatoes to coriander and chestnuts in Aussie households."
So it's beneficial that Canberra is such an (ahem) hive of activity.
Apart from the hives for European bees in Parliament House, there is also a hive for native Australian bees - though in Winter they are moved to the relative warmth of Sydney.
There are 1,700 species of native Australian bee but most are not very social, preferring a monogamous relationship rather than the promiscuity of the "honey bees" which descended from those brought from Europe in the 1820s.
Like the European variant, the few social native bees have a queen plus hundreds of sterile female workers and some males in each nest. Australian social bees don't sting.
Nor do they make large amounts of honey - though what they do make is said to be delicious.
Amongst all God's beings there are none so hard working and useful to man with so little attention needed for its keep as the bee.Anton Jansa
According to "Aussie Bee" magazine, "This honey has a delicious, more tangy flavour than commercial bee honey and is stored by the bees in small pots which look like bunches of grapes."
Native or European, stinging or sting-less, World Bee Day is for them.
Over at the Slovenian embassy on Akame Circuit in O'Malley, they will also be celebrating.
After all, its inspiration - Anton Jansa - was a citizen. Bees are in the lifeblood of the country which formed the most westerly part of the old Yugoslavia, bordering Italy.
There is a traditional hive in the gardens of the embassy in Canberra, similar to the ones which Slovenians carry on their backs in the mountains to find new pastures and flowers offering more honey.
The ambassador, Jurij Rifelj, likes to give gifts of Canberran honey. Bees along with a huge BMW motorbike is his passion.
He said that his country was so passionate about bees and honey that its diplomats persuaded the United Nations to instigate World Bee Day in 2017.
"For us, bees have always been part of our culture," he said.
There was debate - how can you have political dissension over something as harmless as World Bee Day, you might ask. But some countries wanted a broader celebration than the humble bumble bee. They wanted it to be International Day of Pollinators!
This would have been a celebration of other insects which help pollinate flowers - not just bees, but pollen wasps, varieties of ants, flies, mosquitoes, butterflies and moths - and flower beetles.
Argument raged. Positions were taken. Diplomatic cables were sent. Alliances formed.
Fortunately, Slovenia won the argument. The proponents of International Day of the Pollinator were routed.
It is World Bee Day, to be celebrated on Monday, May 20.
The only ones who might not make much of a song and dance will be the bees themselves.
In the current cold weather, they stay nice and warm inside the hives of Canberra.
Great is their wisdom.