Thursday, September 26, 2013


The on-line magazine Slate recently featured a gallery of stunning photographs of bees and wasps by the U. S. Geological Survey Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab. Do check it out. I am particularly fond of the sweat bee flecked with pollen.

Golden angel. Go-between. Facilitator of flower sex. Sperm bearer. Messenger of want.

Little Eros. Cupid. Sipping nectar. Sprinkled with the spice of love. All those stamens, all those pistils, waiting for your winged shuttle. Baited with sweetness.

"What is this dark hum among the roses?" asks Mary Oliver in a poem. And then again: "It's love almost too fierce to endure, the bee/ nuzzling like that into the blouse/ of the rose."

Flowers and bees. Locked in a long evolutionary embrace. A hundred million years of mutual advantage. Come, little emissary. Taste my honey. I'll dust you with the gild of sex. Fly away there. Wearing my garment of woo.