(I) Ideal beekeeper

dressed in cricket whites
   & sports jacket

everything he required
   within easy reach

every movement
   & positive

the hive never jarred
   & the least smoke used
   as was needed

paying no notice when bees
   settled upon him

he was a gentle man
   (alas! I shall never
   see him again)

(after Kelsey)

(II) Pipe

the habitual smoker
may need nothing more
than his pipe for protection
as wafting smoke
in the bees direction
through a tube of india-rubber
   is sure to tame them

(after Cheshire)

Edwardes adds:
wise smokers

cut a pipe-sized hole
in their veil

(III) Smoker

what you put
inside the smoker

is of more import
than the smoker itself

(after Davies)

Edwardes adds:
the best smokers

are made of copper
which never rusts

(IV) June idyll

in a nook of old England
there’s a bee-garden
lined with shady linden
in which a keeper’s sat

in quiet thought
on the honey-barrow
drifting a tendril
of blue tobacco

(after Edwardes)

W. Eric Kelsey, The Spell of the Honey-Bee
Frank R. Cheshire, Bees & Beekeeping, Vol. 2
Andrew Davies, Beekeeping
Tickner Edwardes, The Lore of the Bee
Tickner Edwardes, Bee-Keeping for All