Book The Beekeeper's Apprentice: A Novel
Anyone else ever read it?
I like how this book is written. Setting is early 1900’s England wartime. Story about Mary Russell becoming friends with retired to the country Sherlock Holmes. You can read the intro and first chapter at Amazon.com.
Does this really happen?
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: A Novel (Mary Russell) by Laurie R. King
Kindle ebook, location 817
“…as we neared the small fenced orchard that housed his hives Holmes stopped dead and stood with his head tipped to one side. After a moment he gave a little grunt and strode rapidly across the turf to the orchard gate. I followed, and once among the trees I could hear the noise that his experienced ears had caught at the greater distance: a high, passionate sound, a tiny, endless cry of unmistakable rage coming from the hive in front of us. Holmes stood staring down at the otherwise peaceful white box, and clicked his tongue in exasperation.
“What is it?” I asked. “What’s that noise they’re making?”
“That is the sound of an angry queen. This hive has already swarmed twice, but it seems determined to swarm itself into exhaustion. The new queen had her nuptial flight last week, and she is now anxious to murder her rivals in their beds. Normally the workers would encourage her, but either they know she is going to lead another swarm, or they are somehow driving her to do so. In either case, they are keeping her from doing away with the unborn queens. They cover the royal cells with thick layers of wax, you see, so she cannot reach the princesses and they can’t chew their way out to answer her challenge. The noise is the queens, born and imprisoned, raging at each other through the prison walls.”
“What would happen if one of the unhatched queens escaped from her cell?”
“The first queen has the advantage, and it would almost certainly kill it.”
“Even though she is going to abandon the hive anyway?”
“The lust for murder is not a rational thing. In queens, it is an instinct response.”
"Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF