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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shakespeare and Bees

Of course, there's this piece from the Tempest:

Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

-- William Shakespeare

This morning I found this in a Gordon Reader digitized by Google:

THE BEES WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE So work the honey bees Creatures that by a rule in nature teach The art of order to a peopled kingdom They have a king and offices of sorts Where some like magistrates correct at home Others like merchants venture trade abroad Others like soldiers armed in their stings Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds Which pillage they with merry march bring home To the tent royal of their emperor Who busied in his majesty surveys The singing masons building roofs of gold The civil citizens kneading up the honey The poor mechanic porters crowding in Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate The sad eyed justice with his surly hum Delivering o er to executors pale The lazy yawning drone
The Gordon Readers By Emma K. Gordon, Marietta Stockard

Clearly Shakespeare thought, as did most people of his time,
that the bees had a king rather than a queen.

In a New Zealand journal article from 1948, the writer mentions
that Shakespeare very frequently had an entymological bent.

This was a moment of fun distraction while I spend my Saturday
cleaning out my basement!


  1. Anonymous9:49 AM

    My friend is named Merrily and she is in a "bee" group dedicated to the fans of Sherlock Holmes, who became a beekeeper in his retirement. Laurie King has written a series of books about Holmes' retirement; the first in the series is entitled "The Beekeeper's Apprentice". Merrily is also an English major and loves Shakespeare. Six degrees?????


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