6.2.13

new bee poems


The Bee Library, Cockatoo Island, 18th Biennale of Sydney, 2012


Recently I've been working on poems for new bee libraries which will be installed at locations in England & Scotland. Reading between the books it is interesting to see how different authors define common apicultural terms, and the social or political commentary freighted within these. 

This sequence of one-word poems unfolds some of the definitions. There is more information about the project on the main bee bole site.



WINGED-ATOM

bee


Tickner Edwardes, The Lore of the Bee



OUR MOTHER
THE QUEEN

bienenkönigin



QUEEN-RIGHT

lay


W. Eric Kelsey, The Spell of the Honey-Bee

bienenk√∂nigin, Ger. ‘mother-bee'; Queen-right
Norfolk expression for a queen laying eggs



THE BEE'S
WEE HAMPER

corbicula


T. W. Cowan, The Honey Bee

corbicula, basket formed from the tibia
for carrying propolis and pollen



SINGING-CLOUD

swarm


Tickner Edwardes, The Lore of the Bee



THE OLD QUEEN
WITH THE SWARM
IN THE REAR

cast



BLUE-BLOODS

nymphs



FANFARE FOR
THE EIGHTH DAY

piping



CHAIN-GANG

festoon


Frank R. Cheshire, Bees & Beekeeping, Vol. 1

Listen to a hive on the evening of the 8th day
after a swarming and the new queens will be heard ‘piping’;
a ‘cast’ swarm leaves the hive with the old queen. 
Place bees in an empty hive and they will form chains,
or festoons, to produce wax and make comb



WEATHER-SHELTER

bole


Courtney Dainton, Clock Jacks & Bee Boles



MIDWAY BETWEEN
HIVE & HOLLOW

skep


A. M. Foster, Bee Boles and Bee Houses



CARR

pagoda



NATIONAL

crate


Andrew Davies, Beekeeping



MIND

hive


Tickner Edwardes, The Lore of the Bee



A SENSE
OF DECISION

buzz



TAKEN WITH
GERMANIC PRECISION

schwirrlauf


Thomas Seeley, Honeybee Democracy

schwirrlauf, whirring dance
performed by worker bees, to initiate swarming



THE JOYFUL HUM 
LUST! LUFT! LIFE!

shiusi- shiusi-shiusi!



T. W. Cowan, The Honey Bee

Cowan quotes Stahala’s translation of the calls of bees;
the swarm emits a ‘shiusi’ as they first emerge from the hive,
also known as “the joyful hum”



THE FAMILIAR PATH

memory


Julien Francon, The Mind of the Bees



THROBBING STREAM
OF GOLDEN HAIL

swarm


Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee



(CCD)
A SIGN AMONG
THE ALMOND TREES

bee-
drop


Benjamin & McCallum, A World Without Bees



CURE

balm


H. Malcolm Fraser, Beekeeping in Antiquity

Pliny: smearing lemon balm arrests the bees’ desertion




BRUDERLY-ATTACHMENT

heftzellen


T. W. Cowan, The Honey Bee

heftzellen, cells at the top and sides of a comb
where it is affixed to the wooden frame



SALT-HONEY

butes


Robert Graves, The White Goddess

Butes, the renowned bee-keeper of antiquity
sailed with the Argonauts



BAND

bee



MYTH

moth



LEMNISCATE

8



CACHE

ash



PEONY

peenie


(after Roderick Watson)


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