Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone – Friday Fictioneers, September 2022

Copyright Trish Nankerville

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.

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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.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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31 Responses to Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone – Friday Fictioneers, September 2022

  1. Sue says:

    Oh, beautifully crafted, Sandra


  2. neilmacdon says:

    Elegant and cleverly written. I love the telling the bees superstition–I’ve used it in my current novel


  3. trishsplace says:

    Beautifully done, I love it.
    And I also felt very sad for the royal family this week. The Queen was amazing, a well respected legend. I know she had a good innings, but her family will be devo. Imagine handling your grief, while pandering to the demands of the job.


    • Sandra says:

      I can’t imagine the toll of conducting a four nation tour, making inaugural addresses, dealing with constitutional formalities etc while grieving the death of a loved one. And in his early seventies too, when most of us would be anticipating a period of quiet reflection on the past. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    One of the more charming, and less serious, formalities from the past week.


  5. Dear Sandra,

    I’m not even British and I’ve shed a tear or two for HM and family. Her coronation took place a few months before I was born. She’s always been a presence, if not a fascination.
    Beautiful story.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. granonine says:

    Sandra, I love this! Never heard of it before, but what a lovely custom!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dale says:

    I love these bizarre (yet wonderful) customs that are carried on, generation after generation. Monarchist or not, one had to admire how she handled herself with grace (even when it was more trying for her). She will be missed.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. elmowrites says:

    Of all the crazy reactions I’ve seen in the news, the Telling of the Bees makes some of the most sense. I hope you aren’t too caught up in the madness and enjoy your extra holiday on Monday.

    Much consternation here, the Feds get the day off but not the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bear says:

    What a beautifully thought out tribute… Indeed, the hive lives on and will prosper. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoyed the flow of this, Sandra. A wonderful tradition beautifully described.
    It creates a sweet (no pun intended) feel to bumble bees. Lovely …
    I have been fascinated with the royals since forever. I think it’s becuse of my love for fairytales. We aren’t perfect and neither are they but I respect her strong being. A grand lady that stood the test of time. May she R.I.P.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! I was going to comment on what a great metaphor this is… then read the comments and realised it is a real thing?! I’ve learned something new today! Thank you 😊 🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  12. authorfleurl says:

    Ohhhh this is really lovely. And something new I have learned, and actually, it makes perfect sense. Of course the bees will understand. Bees know stuff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. msjadeli says:

    Sandra, so interesting to learn of this custom. My condolences on the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. pennygadd51 says:

    A beautiful story, and so appropriate. Wonderful, Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. CGraith says:

    Love this bee-tale and the nod to kingdoms losing their beloved queen.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Why I was unaware of this custom I cannot imagine.

    I’m not a staunch royalist myself, but I am finding the current situation very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Bill says:

    A wonderful story, Sandra, Thank you for sharing it and educating this cantankerous old Yank.
    Indeed, when anyone would say, “The Queen,” everyone know who that was.
    The Queen of Queens, she was the longest reigning of 13 around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. michael1148humphris says:

    Fascinating, I right enjoyed what you did this week. Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  19. plaridel says:

    she lived a long and purposeful life. may she rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Interesting… I wonder if bees actually like cake though.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. poetisatinta says:

    A lovely tribute for our Queen ‘Bee’ – as well as cake I hope there will be marmalade sandwiches too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. oneta hayes says:

    Very timely. Seldom is a community built on one queen bee; life does go on. Even if second place has to play second fiddle.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. James McEwan says:

    Hi Sandra, I am sure I can only reflect on all the above comments. There is a time and a place in every stage of life, the bees know it well.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. A lovelt story that captured the events of the last few days.
    May her soul rest in perfect peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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