Do you ever notice how when you come upon a dying bee on the sidewalk, you have to stop and examine it - or, is this just me? It strikes me as weird that out of all the places a retiring bee could drop from the sky - how do they happen to land out in the open like that? It's almost like an exhibit: Come and look at me! And, I guess I do.
They are beautiful. Their wings are so delicate and their little black faces seem kind of earnest and business-like. Perhaps this is because of all the positive associations mankind has given them like "hard-working", "industrious" and "busy as..." We admire their cooperative spirit, too, all that fanning the inside the hive to monitor the internal temperature, the division of duties - nurse, guard, drone, worker, queen - and the little communication dance when one of the group has discovered a ripe source of pollen. This is all PBS stuff, of course, I have never voluntarily approached a busy bee on purpose in my whole life. This appears to have been a fine strategy, too, since I have never been stung.
One time, I was in Durango, Colorado and visited a honey shop. There was a clear, plastic tube running from the outside of the building all through the store to a central acrylic case right in the middle of the place. It housed a bunch of wonderfully over-flowing honey combs tended faithfully by scads of very busy, buzzing bees who crawled in and out all day long in that tube. It was amazing!
Currently there is a strange plague, or series of them, that are threatening honeybee populations across the world. It's more than just pondering the random dead bee, keepers are discovering entire hives that have vanished in a day. The fact that they didn't even make it home before they disappeared is alarming...because left alone in the hive, is the queen. Expired, I presume, in company with the whole nursery of baby bees. This is something that could be disastrous to our nation's agriculture for starters, since the lowly bee is nature's pollinator.
Sadly, bees and bee doings are mostly unappreciated, I imagine. Parents are like bees. It's a good thing when there are 2 of them; they can take turns with the division of duties, but there really is not much room for the traditional queen role. I'm certainly in no mood to sit around 12 times my original size and lay eggs by the millions. However, being hand-fed once in a while might be appealing.
Bending over to get a better view of the poor, dying bee kind of makes me wonder; he's just one. He did his part, he accepted his lot and gave it everything he had. In the process, he gave life to his world in an incredibly expanding spiral of influence that goes way beyond the nodding blossoms in his wake.
I got a mother's day card from my Beedee (Robin). She had warned me it was coming late, but I forgot. Monday, the day after Mother's Day - I was happily surprised by her beautiful homemade greeting. Inside she had written partly, "...I'm grateful for all you taught me."
She is only ONE. So each are the other four, only one at a time ~ part of me, of US and our life here, out in the world, busy with their new lives, doing their part. Oh! And now there's also Jack! The grandbaby bee - the one & only! Now our parental sphere is expanded to a whole new level.
Maybe this is what it feels like to be a queen.
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