Go tell the bees that the Queen has died

The Royal Beekeeper has informed the Queen's bees of her death, and King Charles III's accession to the throne. According to the Daily Mail:
The official Palace beekeeper, John Chapple, [...] travelled to Buckingham Palace and Clarence House on Friday following news of The Queen’s death to carry out the superstitious ritual.

He placed black ribbons tied into bows on the hives, home to tens of thousands of bees, before informing them that their mistress had died and that a new master would be in charge from now on.

He then urged the bees to be good to their new master - himself once famed for talking to plants.

I think that's great, and I'm glad they remembered! Many of you will recall the scene in BEES where John Quincy Myers explains the custom to Claire:
“Bees are real sociable,” Myers explained, and blew one of them gently off the back of his hand. “And they’re curious, which only makes sense, them goin’ back and forth and gatherin’ news with their pollen. So you tell ’em what’s happening--if someone’s come a-visitin’, if a new babe’s been born, if anybody new was to settle or a settler depart--or die. See, if somebody leaves or dies,” he explained, brushing a bee off my shoulder, “and you don’t tell the bees, they take offense, and the whole lot of ’em will fly right off.”

(From GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 13, "What is Not Good For the Swarm is Not Good For the Bee (Marcus Aurelius)". Copyright© 2021 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

The painting above is Hans Thoma's "The Bee Friend", from 1863. For more about the custom of "telling bees", look here.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, a quiet remembrance amid a) the fanfare.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Karen.

Barbara said...

I find this so comforting.

Anonymous said...

And so the bees have spoken.
Long Live The King

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