Honey and Bees: Sweet and Useful

I've been noticing a lot of bee imagery in poems lately. Maybe I'm just attuned to it, but I think it's more than that.

Here is one, I posted a while back, which has one of my favorite images in all of poetry:
I dreamt a marvelous illusion  
that there was a beehive here in my heart. 
And the golden bees were making white combs 
and sweet honey from my old failures.
Today I came across many. Here is one from Tennyson's The Princess:
The moan of doves in immemorial elms
And murmurings of innumerable bees.
I think I'm going to work on an anthology full of poems referring in some ways to bees.


  1. Have you heard of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the "Silence of the Bees" documentary? I saw it on PBS a while back. I found it so interesting but also alarming because there doesn't seem to be a reason for the colonies collapsing.

    Love the Tennyson quote. I just read the portion of "Little House in the Big Woods" about Pa splitting open a hollow tree and hauling out buckets and tubs of honey comb. Laura was dismayed that he had destroyed the bee's home, but he assured her that he had left plenty of honey for them, as well as plenty of time in the year to rebuild before winter, and that he had scouted out another hollow tree close by where they could move next. Good job, Pa.

    One of my favorite reads a few years ago was "The Secret Life of Bees." Lily learns that if she doesn't want the bees to sting her, she need to tell them she loves them and send them loving thoughts.

    Maybe the bees just need more love spoken to them...

  2. I find it remarkable, now that I'm paying attention, how much we compare thought and love and despair to bees.

    I heard Fresh Air on the book 1493 and learned that the English had to bring their own Bees to the new world.

    Last I heard about CCD, they were likening it an AIDS-like virus. I also read something recently that pesticides might actually be affecting them, but the science isn't there to understand why.


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