Bee Line

Bruce Gulland

A Poem for World Bee Day 2019 by Bruce Gulland:

Miniature motor, mellifluous drone, as I doze in my deckchair knowing I’m not alone,

On a bee-balmy indolent May afternoon, it comforts me to know you’re going nowhere too soon,

Contented customer, shopping bags in your legs, spot a pot plant, inspect her, drain nectar to its dregs,

Consummate connoisseur of each genus of flower, exquisite vector of nectar-collecting power.

Benign and benevolent – though you once seemed malevolent – As a child, a bit wild, you were painfully relevant,

It properly knocked me you could do such a thing – you shocked me and mocked me with the stab of that sting,

And it took quite some time for my view of you to mend, to see you not as a purveyor of crime – but a friend,

So now as you mosey from flower pot to plant, you seem more like a miniature uncle or aunt,

Not a demon demented, spitfire from the skies, but companion contented, humble and wise,

You murmur and grumble as you amble not stumble, I’ve long learned to love you Mr Bee-busy Bumble,

With your somnolent drone and your striped dapper coat, but I’m worried, I am – what will keep you afloat.


Bumble bee I’m amazed at your qualities and skills, I can’t do what you do, even on pills,

Your exceptional mysterious powers of navigation, are up there with our feathered friends skills at migration,

You emit subtle chemicals, can’t be overlooked – a hornet can find itself surrounded and cooked,

We’d be wowed to see you guys in a crowd – you can dance! Though we don’t understand what it feels like, maybe trance?

You perform all these feats through your instincts sublime, To understand you’s a treat, to ignore you’s a crime,

And we are like Spidey, with power and responsibility, to defend and protect your amazing ability…

One way to make hay and your plight less alarming, is not stew but review the whole way we do farming,

Not think “it’s hopeless” and be passive and pensive, but find ways to use less sprays, make the gig less intensive,

And learn from the bee, cos it’s humble and lowly, reminds us of patience, to wait, go more slowly,

Not be so in thrall to production of food, nor be quite so helplessly to bad habits glued,

Make space for more orchards and meadows and flowers, create hope, give bees scope for their ingenious powers.


And I’m not being funny but we all like our honey, so don’t be typical, choose ethical, don’t keep it hypothetical,

It’s consumer spending – and it could soon be trending.

And show some propriety, pick a home grown variety, in this way we can all help preserve bee society,

Cos as far as I see the best thing for the bee is we treat it just like we’d treat you or treat me,

For the swarm in the hive helps to keep us alive – and here is the rub, a full third of our grub,

Depends on our friends and their sweet pollination, remember that if they cause you any grief or frustration.

Well my poem is done, been a whole lot of fun, I could talk bees all day but I now need some sun,

So let’s do our part – keep them close to our heart, Help them prosper, live long, and grow numerous and strong.

Cos a happy bee’s a happy me, and I think we’ll agree, there’s nothing quite like scones and honey for tea.

©Bruce Gulland

For World Bee Day, 20th May 2019. An audio version of the blog is here:

Bruce Gulland works as a radio producer and writer/blogger in Bradford, with media & healthcare charity Reach Beyond. His blog is here:

The bee photo is from Pixabay and is copyright free.