An edited version of The Song of the Queen Bee by E.B. White published in The New Yorker Magazine 1945.
“The breeding of the bee,” says a United States Department of Agriculture bulletin on artificial insemination, has always been handicapped by the fact that the queen mates in the air with whatever drone she encounters.”
The Song of the Queen Bee
When the air is wine and the wind is free
and the morning sits on the lovely lea
and sunlight ripples on every tree
Then love-in-air is the thing for me
I’m a bee,
I’m a ravishing, rollicking, young queen bee,
I wish to state that I think it’s great,
Oh, it’s simply rare in the upper air,
It’s the place to pair
With a bee.
Let old geneticists plot and plan,
They’re stuffy people, to a man;
Let gossips whisper behind their fan.
(Oh, she does?
Buzz, buzz, buzz!)
My nuptial flight is sheer delight;
I’m a giddy girl who likes to swirl,
To fly and soar
And fly some more,
I’m a bee.
For I am a queen and I am a bee,
I’m devil-may-care and I’m fancy-free,
I am a bee and I simply love it,
I am a bee and I’m darn glad of it,
I am a bee, I know about love:
Love-in-air is the thing for me,
Oh, it’s simply rare
In the beautiful air,
And I wish to state
That I’ll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.
Image: Queen Bee by DCT