some other bees & their nests

(I) science tells us

progress is not
blind chance

it relies upon
the elimination
of waste

& the making good
of what was begun
in another generation

(II) one

as leaves
on a tree

so bees
in a colony

form one

(III) as a rule

the solitary bee
who finds a nest
does not furnish it

the solitary bee
who furnishes a nest
does not find it

(IV) Reaumur’s Upholsterer Bee (a bee of the Continent)

she lines her nest
with neat
layered petals

from poppies
or convolvulus
smoothes the wrinkles

& then folds
the petals
over the egg

(V) Fabre’s surprise

I have surprised
the Girdled Anthidium
in cohabition

with a Bembex wasp –
both living in peace
intent upon their business

(V) Fabre’s osmia

hail snow-capped

where snow-white almond
   blossom’s fall

& now the three-horned

emerges from the spiral
of a discarded
   snail shell

partitioned to provide
   a small & large cell

for one male & one female
   per labyrinth

respecting its neighbours
osmia prefer
   to die

rather than force their way
through the cocoon
   of another bee

(VI) the cardin’ o’ it

                                             carder          form     line
                                       the             bees           a          &
                                                                moss                moss
                                                   pass                  pass                  pass
                                                              moss                moss
                                           between          until          nest      fluffed
                                          them           the           is

Herbert Mace, Some Other Bees, Butterflies and Moths
J. H. Fabre, tr. Alexander Teixeira de Mattos, Bramble Bees and Others