Gentle tapping disturbs the rhythm of the hive.
The bees pause…
I come with news. The mistress is dead, but don’t you go. Your master will be a good master to you.
The older bees remain poised, perhaps contemplating, while younger bees fidget nervously.
Footsteps continue past the hive, and rapping is audible some yards away.
Immediately this hive resumes work; wax is produced, comb built, nectar stored, bodies removed.
The news has been properly conveyed and all is as it should be.
The bees, the family, and the kingdom will be safe.
And soon there will be cake.
The Telling of the Bees has taken place this last week on the Royal estates, an ancient custom not just related to death, but to all nature of important family events. Often, the bees are given a piece of wedding or funeral cake after the ceremonies. If the bees are not formally advised, superstition says the hive will fail and the family come upon hard times.
I’m not a rampant monarchist, but I’ve shed a tear or two this past week for a life of unwavering, selfless and faithful service. I don’t mind passing the message on.
Thanks to Rochelle for her service to Friday Fictioneers, Feel free to join us.