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Busy Bumblebee

Busy Bumblebee.jpg

Ivaschenko Roman, ‘Bumblebee’

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour?
—Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

How do I, little busy bee,
improve each shining hour?
I shall explain in poetry,
my podium a flower.

I fly quite far away from home
on missions for my Queen
to gather nectar: off I roam
for miles, at least. I’m keen!

I creep inside a rambling rose
or dancing daffodil,
my tongue becomes a hair-tipped hose
to drink my fragrant fill.

I hasten home then, all a-buzz
from working in the field,
a ball of black-and-yellow fuzz
transporting that day’s yield.

And once I’m back, within the nest,
my Queen is pleased with me
for doing all my busy best
to bring us treats for tea!

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Published on The HyperTexts, Spotlight, August 2021
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In July 2021, Mike Burch, editor of The HyperTexts, launched a poetry project titled Insectageddon. This sought to raise awareness of the importance of insects on Planet Earth. As I’m a member of Friends of the Earth, I already knew that bumblebee numbers are dwindling, so I decided to write a poem about this particular species.

As soon as I’d made that decision, the classic poem ‘How doth the little busy bee’ by Isaac Watts popped into my head, remembered from childhood. I thought it might be fun to use that as my launchpad for the poem and I set about researching bumblebee behaviour. I wanted to come up with something suitably classic as a response and I was delighted when Mike accepted the poem for the project and published it in the Spotlight of THT in August 2021.

Information about bumblebees can be accessed via the Friends of the Earth website, here.

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