At least the honeybee can fly

Lately I’ve been thinking about
bees. In the paper a few weeks ago, a headline read:
‘Parasite blamed for death of 90% of honeybee colonies on Vancouver Island.’
They blamed
climate change or
a harmful parasite or
maybe both. I didn’t read the whole thing.
There was a picture
but the picture was
of a bumblebee
some astute reader
pointed out
a day later.

A bumblebee
stores nectar in
the same form
it was collected in rather than
making it into honey
like the honeybees.
bumblebees can
sting but their stinger
lacks barbs
or meaning
so they can sting you more than once.
They can reach speeds of
up to 52 km/h
you probably couldn’t
outrun a bumblebee.
according to 19th century
laws of
the bumblebee is
incapable of flight.
Something about
beats per second or
the degree of wing loading.
Christ. Don’t tell
the bumblebees.
They would be so upset.
Maybe it’s for the best that
they cannot hear these things
(for the bumblebee does not have ears),
they probably don’t even know that
there’s an orchestral interlude about their
impossible flight.
They sure must be
fast runners and
good jumpers.
it definitely
seems like they are
flying. . . .

But even though the bumblebee
is so athletic and it
can sting you twice
without dying—
the parasites
and the weather are
killing them too.
Or if not that
then something related to
mistaken identities and
the tragic realization that their
flight is

As for honeybees,
They make honey and
they make wax.
They find food and
then they use
a pattern of
to communicate.
Speaking dance!
They can’t hear
either but
no one has written
an orchestral interlude about them
so that’s ok.
Maybe it is better to
be a honeybee
you might think:
Making honey
and wax
and dancing
all day long
the worker honeybees:
they sting with
and die afterwards.
And the drone honeybees:
they mate with
and die afterwards.
Talk about
damned if you do and
damned if you don’t.
Oh well,
I suppose that
at least
the honeybee can fly.