Monday, August 31, 2015
The Bees by Laline Paull, 338 pages
Flora 717 is born a sanitation bee. A priestess bee sees that Flora is different from her kin and moves her to the position of nursery bee because Flora is large, can speak (which sanitation bees normally can't) and she can make the flow needed to feed the baby bees. From there she moves to forager and fierce defender of the hive, when needed.
Life in a beehive is a brutal caste system and worker bees such as Flora live - and die - to "Accept, Obey and Serve." The story follows the life of the beehive for about a year. It is a tumultuous year with rains, hunger, sickness and the Visitation. These bees did not appreciate sharing their honey. I gotta say, I'm gonna feel a bit guilty the next time I put honey in my tea.