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Stories from the farm – a closer look at the people, the place and the bio-diversity at 5EyesFarm

Little Bee


Little girl, little bee, what a life! I see you struggling there on the bowing green leaf of that blade of grass – rising up and climbing over, falling back down between the blades as your veined wings catch the shimmering of the reflected light and the sunshine burrows down beyond the dark dirt on the floor of the world.

Forty days, a half-life spent in the court of your queen on duties within. Complex is the strata and political situation at home, I know. There are many intricate tasks to do, trainings to undertake, and roles to play. Until recently, we didn’t realise that each of you is gifted with adaptability enough to take on many different roles and perform each with the same dedication. Maybe you where a nurse feeding the babies, or perhaps you were a guard, a pollen dispatcher or a honey sucker. Maybe you spent time just outside the door as a pheromone agent guiding your sisters home.

Your second- half-life has been full of the world these past 20 days. Of travel and adventure and hard work out on the wing. With focus and determination, you have followed the iridescent trails in the sky of ultraviolet light patterns and made your way along well-worn paths to find and extract your yellow gold. Carrying as much as half your body weight you have managed kilometres of weather and the elements, birds and other predators in the wilderness of a micro world we humans scarcely see. To bring back your fossicked catch to the castle is to belong. But now, here you are after all that toil and labour. You have lost your flying enzyme, it’s now your time to retire.

And at this time of year, you are certainly not alone. Many of your sisters this very day will go to ground and start their last walk too, their climbing up and down the blades of grass, the bark of trees, the concrete paths. New blood is being born behind you, and you have made your sacrificial contribution to the mother hive. You have seen your morgue sisters at work sniffing out the motionless, weightless bodies of your fallen family tree. You know the drill, keep it clean, do your part and die well. This is your last frantic grasping that now sees you here, not far from home but ready to say goodbye.

Your tea-spoon of honey gold made in life will be quickly consumed on toast somewhere soon by a six-year-old boy who has no idea what you have accomplished and through what kind of life you have prevailed to make your quest complete. Meaningless? I say not. The fruit of your nectar is sweet – as everybody knows. But the healing power and antiseptic quality of it last longer than your short and beautiful life. It builds nations along with other things and creates leaders and pioneers, making them healthy and strong. While the presence of that little boy evolves and he becomes an influential economist some 30 years hence, your tea-spoon had a role to play in his sense of justice and the actions he has taken to mitigate corruption in his country. But of course, you were not serving him. You don’t even know he exists.

Little bee, you have always been loyal and brave and worked hard for one thing and one thing only, the survival of the family. The super-organism of your hive has been your sole motivator, and as said, you have done well. The traverse the airwaves and relentless swish back and forth from home to source and back again to produce your little contribution has been the sole focus of your second- half-life. And for a human to watch you and even think of thanking you is sheer arrogance and assumption on the part of that human. So I simply watch, and wonder, thankful nonetheless that you exist and have this honourable and worthy destiny almost completed.


J.D Wright
Autumn 2018

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