Ode to a Hive Tool

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.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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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