It's the way of the bees!
‘She will have to go!’ said one of the arrogant workers, ‘It's the way of the bees. Someone will have to kill her!’
‘Isn’t that a bit drastic?’ said Cari, who had known the queen all of her life.
The arrogant worker turned and stared at Cari. ‘She is grumpy and ill tempered and if that carries on, there will be a swarm.....She has to go!’
Cari knew she had to warn the queen before it was too late.
Meanwhile, not very far away, a young princess was about to be born.
‘She will be our new queen,’ said the arrogant worker. ‘We will call her Myfanwy, queen of our home for waifs and strays.
It was warm in the hive so some of the workers fanned the comb where the princess lay and fed her drops of royal jelly so she would grow into a queen. Others went in search for the grumpy old queen, intent on killing her.
But Cari had done her job well, she had warned the queen and a swarm of bees took her away to a safe place.
Shortly afterwards, Queen Myfwany was born. She was taken to the throne in a large chamber. The whole hive gasped at her beauty. But one gasped louder than all the others. His name was Lord Garnock the Drone. Queen Myfwany saw the Drone and instantly fell for his charms.
The young queen was told that she would have to be married as soon as possible. The hive could not survive without children. She asked to see Lord Garnock, but was told he lived in another hive.
‘A meeting will be arranged,’ said a worker and away he went.
It was Cari who took the young queen to meet the Drone. On the way there, navigating by the sun, Cari told Queen Myfanwy the sad truth.
‘You cannot go back to the hive unless you are carrying children,’ she said softly. ‘If you are not, they will certainly kill you.’
The young queen smiled at Cari. ‘They will not kill me,’ she said laughing, ‘I will marry the Drone and have his children.’
‘Oh but you don’t understand,’ Cari said desperately. ‘If you have the Drone’s children, then he will certainly die anyway. That is how it is with all Drones. It is the way of the bees.’
Queen Myfanwy rested on a flower. ‘I do not understand,’ she said sadly. ‘It seems I am doomed whatever I do.’
Before Cari could answer, Lord Garnock the Drone landed besides them. The queen’s heart raced with excitement. She hardly knew him but they were bound by a love too great to ignore.
They were married on the flower and soon the young queen was expecting her first children.
‘I have never been so happy,’ said the queen to Cari. ‘I have everything a queen could wish for.’
Cari just lowered her head to hide her tears.
‘We must go back to the hive for the children to be born,’ said the queen. ‘Where is my husband?’
Cari touched the delicate wings of the young queen. ‘I’m afraid he is dead,’ she said sadly. ‘That is the harsh reality of being a Drone. It is the way of the bees.’
The queen flew in silence all the way back to the hive. Her children were born shortly afterwards. As the bee nurses tended to the young, Cari entered the chamber.
‘There is someone I would like you to meet,’ said Cari to the queen. ‘His name is Lord Melkin.’
‘But is it not too soon?’ said the queen.
‘It is the way of the bees,’ replied Cari, ‘the only way to survive!’
The Bee Boy's Song
Bees! Bees! Hark to your bees!
“Hide from your neigbours as much as you please,
But all that has happened, to us you must tell,
Or else we will give you no honey to sell!”
A maiden in her glory,
Upon her wedding-day,
Must tell her Bees the story,
Or else they’ll fly away.
Fly away — die away –
Dwindle down and leave you!
But if you don’t deceive your Bees,
Your Bees will not deceive you.
Marriage, birth or buryin’,
News across the seas,
All you’re sad or merry in,
You must tell the Bees.
Tell ‘em coming in an’ out,
Where the Fanners fan,
‘Cause the Bees are just about
As curious as a man!
Don’t you wait where the trees are,
When the lightnings play,
Nor don’t you hate where Bees are,
Or else they’ll pine away.
Pine away — dwine away –
Anything to leave you!
But if you never grieve your Bees,
Your Bees’ll never grieve you.