Bees are tightly knit: in summer, in the vast hall of the hive, surrounded by the dull roar of a million sisters, dancing the eight-shaped path, aligning the sun with one's journey, indicating the powerful source all sweetness. In winter, this unravels, the drones are abandoned. It is a matter of ants and grasshoppers.

Singly, they are slight: a small sexless self, legs deep in pollen, a stinger that pulls out all one's internal organs with it. Imagine if, whenever we stung with our tongues, the tongue, barbed, embedded in the flesh, were torn out at its root.
We would be kinder or impressively mute.

I once found a dying bee and fed it a drop of honey I squeezed onto my finger tip. It lay very still, then stretched out its fine wet tongue, forked like a snake, flicking back and forth rapidly. After having consumed a bit of it, it rose itself up, shook its wings, then whirred away, no doubt, to inform its sisters. It left a dot of pollen in its wake.

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