Ode to a Hive Tool

This entry is part 22 of 31 in the series Odes to Tools


You need a key for entering where there is no door.
You are much too full of your mammal self
to fit through the always-open entryway
& in any case would have no idea
how to execute a waggle dance,
which looks like sun-drugged madness to you,
looming over the brood box with your angry halo.

You need the hive tool — a burglar’s jimmy —
to prize the honey-heavy frames
from the super, where they hang
for all the world like file folders,
an archive of everything that blooms.

You bring your smoker, of course,
stuffed with straw you pilfered
from some poor scarecrow.
With tear gas & face shield you come,
gloved & booted,
walking gingerly as a boy with his first erection,
praying for the insurgency to die down.

Series Navigation← Ode to a Coping SawOde to a Compass →

6 Replies to “Ode to a Hive Tool”

  1. Dave – this is one of the great ones! The ending slays me.

    Also especially loved “you are much too full of your mammal self”

    We have a hive tool (we call it the bee tool), left over from our failed foray into beekeeping. It is an exceedingly useful tool outside the hive as well.

  2. Thanks for the kind remarks. Again, a poem I’m not personally too fond of, for reasons I can’t entirely pin down, but I’m glad it worked for y’all.

    sarah – Yeah, I gather some people use them as paint scrapers!

    We stopped keeping bees back in the mid 80s when the bear population exploded.

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