Q&A with Beatrice the Bee

What is your full name? Beatrice, of The Twisted Oak Meadow Hive, Worker Party E

Your current relationship status? We’re encouraged to be self sufficient, powerful women as the men are just there to pleasure the queen. That said, there’s always a bit of fun to be had when you’re off out on a work day, what happens in the rose bush, stays in the rose bush!

What is your current mood? A bit exhausted to be honest, it’s all work, work, work round here so when you do get off shift you find you really need to give your wings a rest.

What’s your dad’s name? Tough question. Men are not important in my world, it’s their sperm that matters and he could have been any one of the drones and he died straight after fertilising the queen anyway.

If you could go back in time and change something, would you? I worry sometimes that I don’t work hard enough. I don’t want to be one of those bees who gets to the end of her life and feels like she’s not given her all to the hive.

Do you have a crazy side? Get me on the nectar and wooah I can party!

Ever had a near death experience? Every day, it’s just part and parcel of a worker bee’s life. There was this one time though… I was sipping away at a rotting apple, minding my own business then suddenly this huge, panting monster came up behind me, breathing really heavy. I was terrified. I slowly inched my way round to face my killer and there was a huge, black, wet nostril puffing warm, wet air at me. I thought I was a gonna. But then a whistle blew and the giant bounded away. Took me a while to recover after that one…

Angry at anyone? There’s always someone buzzing around in The Hive, getting too close, not respecting boundaries… There’s so many of us that I guess it’s unavoidable…

Do you want to see somebody right now? I love being around my sisters but it can get exhausting and pretty noisy so right now I’m happy just having a moment to myself between shifts.

What’s your mother’s name? We all call her Queen, I don’t know if she has another name but if she does, she’s probably forgotten it as no one ever uses it…

Who would you do anything for? The Hive.

Who is your hero? The Queen

What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Their uselessness… Or I would if I ever got to see them. Us worker bees keep away from the drones, they are so boring… I mean most of them never leave The Hive so what’ve they got to talk about?!

What are you eating or drinking at the moment? A cup of mead and a round of honey

Have you ever lost a friend? This is the hardest bit about hive life, fellow bees are always dying… I don’t mind when it’s the drones, they die happy but my fellow worker bees mostly die in fear…

Describe your life in one word. Busy

Do you like the rain? Not at all. I hate having to go out in the rain, it makes flying so much harder and I tend to stay home if I can. If I’m out and it starts to rain, I hide in a flower and enjoy the nectar.

What are you thinking about right now? My mind keeps drifting to this lush patch of heather in the orchard the field over, I hope there’s some left for me when I get back out there…

When was the last time you cried? What does a worker bee have to cry about? On the whole life is pretty good. Sure the odd death in the family and the odd close call get to me but that’s just part and parcel of life here.

What should you be doing right now? Working, always working.

What are you listening to? The hum of the hive is pretty loud, I tried listening to music once but it was drowned out so I don’t bother. I like to listen to the birds singing as I go about my work, especially the song thrush over by that hedge.

Who was the last person you told “I love you” to? Every time I do the handover dance we tell our sisters to fly safe and that they are loved by the hive for their contributions.

Who was the last person you yelled at? Probably Blossom… she’s always getting lost when she goes out. It’s like she doesn’t pay attention when we do the directions dance… And you know I’ll get blamed for not wiggling right…

Who was the last person to make you smile? Haha, that was Belle at the handover. She has such an awesomely strange waggle. Gets the job done but my… She totally has her own style does that one…

Is there one person you can tell anything to? There are no secrets in The Hive. It’s one of the Golden Rules as the community doesn’t function if one bee is keeping anything hidden.

Where do you want to live? I love my hive and I’ve never thought about leaving… I guess if the Queen abandoned us I’d have to think about it but this is my home and it always has been. I don’t know where I’d start if I had to move…

What are you watching? The girls chewing the nectar, have you ever seen it? It’s such a magical process. We chew on it for about half an hour then pass it from sister to sister and it starts to turn into honey. Then we pop it into the little wax cells and seal it. If it’s raining then you definitely want to be on the production team, not the collectors.

What will win your heart over? A good tip off, for me lime trees are my weakness but you have to be careful – get it right and you have yourself a nice high but too much of that sweet syrup and you’re vulnerable to predators cos you’re off your head, too tripped out to fly straight…

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