It’s time we did something about the toxic relations between us and our beekeepers.

The fault lies, of course, entirely with them, with their God complexes and their big reassuring hands.  When we visit, they always pretend to discover rips in our protective headgear and they have rigged all the shared toilets to emit a low buzz whenever we lift the lid. We wasted several months of research after they told us the solution to the decline in numbers was to encourage the bees to fuck more.

When they asked us for a shipment of fifty bee-boxes from abroad, they neglected to mention the crates would need air holes. When we asked them what we could possibly do with fifty crates of dead bees, they suggested selling it as stuffing for prison mattresses. When we ordered a replacement shipment they told us to make the air holes larger than the bees, and the bees escaped.

The question is why do we even need bees? If it’s simply about pollination, couldn’t we just manufacture thousands and thousands of bespoke clockwork bees? Give them little fuzzy undercarriages and cuter faces, make them sing like the birds, do away with the stingers altogether? They could be wound up during the night by poor people.

The Ministry, of course, would have to be re-branded and some of us, of course, re-deployed or promoted. The beekeepers, with their excellent sense of humour, would probably cope well in the salt mines.  Real bees would exist only in poetry.


Michael Conley is a poet from Manchester, UK. He has published two pamphlets: the first, Aquarium, came out with Flarestack in 2014, and the second, More Weight, was published by Eyewear in 2016.



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