Monday, May 12, 2008

The Queen Is Dead. Long Live The Queen.

I am saddened to report that at some point in the night last night, Queen Kitty departed this life, and has now gone to that Great Beehive in the Sky.

It is believed that Queen Kitty, despite her most excellent attendants, and diet of sugar water, was simply not strong enough to survive till her Hiving. It will stand as a lesson to all future Queens, as to what can happen if you show up Way to early and have to live in a Queen Carrier for a week.

Queen Kitty is survived by one Worker Bee. (who is not expected to live much longer, such is her grief at the passing of her Queen.)

Funeral services are private, and her body will most likely end up as artwork in a Lisa Snellings or Cat Mihos Art Project. As did the first Queen Kitty workers.

Flowers may be sent to the Surviving Hives.

In Mourning,


At 11:45 AM , Blogger Yoga Gal said...

Know you did you best to save the Queen. How's the Boss taking her loss?

At 11:54 AM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

ahhh Queenie, we hardly knew ye.
thanks miss FabLo, for making her brief stay with you a happy one...she has gone on to new quarters...

i promise to concentrate harder on the next round.
rest ye well, little QUeen. (a Heart reference!!!)

your girl sang like a nightengale last night, at the same time as ripping on Joan Jett---wonderful!
sadly, i didn't video it, and Drew nailed Whisky in the Jarrrooooooo.
can't wait to be out there tending the bees...
looks like i may do Motley again--sure to have Minn date!!

At 11:59 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I would have loved to have seen Malena doing Joan Jett! Man. Liked the voice man this morning too.

I can't Karaoke. Not a bit. Oddly enough, it is because I am simply too shy to get up and do it. Isn't that weird? I can with a band, live, but something about it, I get total stage fright at the thought of it.

Queen Kitty and her awesome Queen Butt will bee missed.

At 1:05 PM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

I am not sure what it's like to lose a bee, but it sounds sad. I wish you and all your beekeeping friends the best.


At 1:17 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

Alas, farewell to the Queen.

May her successor arrive on time, and be stronger. It seems to me that a week is an awful long time to have to wait to lay eggs, but I know very, very little about the laying habits of bees.

At 1:31 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

It's sad in sort of a general way. I would have liked it if she could have lived as a bee ought to , and been Queen of her hive, and I am sorry it didn't work out that way.

But, I am not going to wear all black or anything.

Wait. I mostly wear all black anyway.

At 1:36 PM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Maybe wear all bee-keeping white as a tribute to the Queen? ;)

At 2:42 PM , Blogger Maureen said...

I knew it was uncool and not fashionable to arrive too early... but fatal? Oh dear.

At 3:14 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Yes, I shall wear white in mourning....

Hee-hee. That was very funny Maureen. Made me laugh it did.

I opened the Queen Carrier , to let the one remaining worker go. It was the least I could do. She did not want to leave her Queen tho.

At 3:17 PM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

Are there any noticeable alterations in the hive when a queen dies?


At 3:27 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

If a Queen in a Hive dies, they feed the baby larvae (there are always a few around) Queens Royal Jelly, and wait for them to Hatch. The first Queen to Hatch goes around and stings to death all the other little growing Queens.

She then goes on a mating flight, and mates with 5 or 6 boy bees, then they die, and she has all the eggs she will ever need, and she goes back to the hive and spends the rest of her life laying eggs.

It's harsh out in the bug World.

This Queen had not yet gone into a Hive. We have one Hive that is getting too big, so we are going to take half the workers out, and put them with a New Queen, in a new Hive.

At 4:01 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Clearly, the trick here is to neither be unfashionably early or too rudely late. Sheesh.

Mr. Beebe saw the Boss's dancing bee photo on the computer the other day, pointed at it and shouted gleefully "BEEEEEE!!!!"

What it is with boys and their bugs?

Here's hoping the next queen arrives in a timely manner and that her hive flourishes!

At 4:13 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I did love that dancing bee photo, great shot!

In the Cat World, we have some good news. Jungle Lobe One will now come out and eat while I am in the room! She also got real curious about the door when I went to leave, and came and LOOKED.

Venus and Mim came up and LOOKED too.

I watched. They LOOKED, then I closed the door.

Merry Housekeeper put together the new Cat Tower Delux and JL1 hopped up on it when I came in.

(She also cleaned all my cat boxes, apparently, bless her)

At 4:14 PM , Blogger Aleta said...

Well, at least you got to use that great subject line.

At 4:23 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Did, didn't I.....

At 7:38 PM , Blogger Malena said...

My long bee butt goes out to you Fablo. I could dress up in yellow and black and sing at her funeral...via skipe!

Bad joke!

We will make sure the next one has lots of hot rockstar boy bees to keep her...buuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy.

Yes, Lorraine IS the funny one.

At 7:56 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hmmm...Malena, I hate to break this to you , but the Hive is kind of Girl on Girl oriented. They don't like the boys and kill them when ever they can.

At 8:02 PM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

Thank you for the information, Ms. Garland (am not sure what to call you since I'm fifteen) -- you've made me glad I'm not a bee.


At 8:21 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Emily, you call me Lorraine, or Fabulous, or Quiche, or FabLo, or Miss Quichie or anything else you would like to call me.

( I have lots of names. Malena calls me Dev. Some people say Loran, Rainy, Loranie, Quichela , Q and once in a while Ol Thingie Face )

Age is not a factor among friends on this blog, don't care if you are 15 or 80 here we don't, as long as you are fun to talk to.

And you are.

At 9:06 PM , OpenID mistressmousey said...

I am totally paying money to see Malena singing a funereal dirge to the Queen in a bee suit!

At 10:25 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Poor little bee. Not sure why she could not survive in her box. After all, a hive IS a box.
Of course, there would have been sex.
And company. And murders.
Maybe she died for a lack of excitement?

At 11:38 PM , OpenID kali-licious said...

Aw poor Queen Kitty, may she rest in peace.

Ooh I really wanna hear Malena sing some Joan Jett.:) (Bad Reputation is my favorite;)

At 7:14 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I am convinced that the sight of Malena in a bee suit shaking it would have either given the queen the will to live or, conversely, caused her to spontaneously combust.

At 7:20 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I can see Malena in a Bee Suit. Kind of like an yellow and black cat suit.....

I am going to put the Queen into a little Black Bee Coffin.

And I will send her to Malena, who can take pictures in her Bee-cat suit for us.

It is good to have a Plan.

At 8:18 AM , Blogger Rubius said...

What I want to know is how much do you pay for a queen bee?... and how do her attendants 'take care' of her?

At 10:32 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

The cost around $90 and the attendants will bring her sugar water, and I don't know, rub her back , I guess...

At 12:03 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

Yikes!!!! That is quite an expenditure for a bee that arrived too early for hiving!!! ... and then died in the interim.

Poor little queenling.

At 12:10 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Actually... Given the attitude of a queen towards potential competition, it must be quite tricky to raise additional queens so you can sell them.
I wonder how they do it.

At 12:18 PM , OpenID pantagruel said...

A black bee coffin -- that'd be cool. 'Queen Bee' was my baby nickname. I'm pretty sure my mom's got some very embarrassing photos stashed away of me with a stripey crown and scepter. ;) Now that you all know that, your lives are complete!

That's good news about Jungle Love #1 coming out to eat while you were around; how's JL2?

At 2:45 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

How does one raise Queens for sale????

Thanks be for Google, this is quite informative and entertaining and asnwers most questions.

The best piece of advice is, apparently, Maintain a Drug Free Drone Zone.


Jungle Love 2 is still not sure, and mostly she hides, but last night she SLUNK around from under one chair to another. I worry that JL1 eats all the food tho...

I'll let you know tonight, after Dog School, IF my computer at home has dried out from the STUPID STUPID RAT CREATURES who ran over the table knocking tea onto it.

At 3:17 PM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

Thanks for letting me know about the name thing, Lorraine.


At 7:43 PM , Blogger Malena said...

Yes, I will put on my Queen Bee morning outfit and video tape the burial. Why NOT!
90 bucks for a queen huh? WOw.

At 10:47 PM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Malena, that would rock! :) Yes, totally sing a mourning dirge... in a bee outfit. ;)

JL2 slinks, that's cool. Bummer about the laptop being deluged with tea, though. :P

So, here's something weird you might find amusing -- the last three times I've been driving home, taking a certain freeway combination, at a certain point, 'Going Wodwo' comes up on my iPod, if it's set to shuffle my top rated songs. Tonight, it happened again. Very very strange, that one spot on the freeway makes that song play. (For Kitty and Malena, it's the 5 north, just before the 55 north.) So totally bizarre.

At 9:03 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I think it is trying to TELL you something....Go Wodwo, Pantagruel....

(And take pictures!)

At 9:35 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Heh, I'm halfway to Wodwo already, being a dirt-chomping, tree-hugging hippie pagan. With just a little surfer and a little goth thrown in. But if I ever go completely Wodwo, I will have someone take pictures. ;)

At 10:35 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...


We gather in the comment thread of this great blog to mourn and to give thanks. It is a fitting place to do so, a place where the story of the hives and the story of the bee we now commend to her Divalish Malenaness are intertwined.

It was here that Lorraine recounted the amusing tale of Queen Kitty's delivery; it was here that we were updated on her continued vitality and annointing with sugar water; it was here that, as Queen of the Box, she was attended by her workers. It is fitting, then, that a place that stood at the centre of her life should now be the place where we honour her passing.

In the 2 days since she left us, there have been countless tributes and expressions of affection and respect -- including those of the many people who have clamoured to view pictures and video of Malena shaking her butt in a bee costume.

How should we explain the numbers? Not just by the great shortness of a life, famously blogged to the full. It has to do with her giving of herself so readily and openly. There was about her, in George Eliot's lovely phrase, "the sweet presence of a good diffused". Or perhaps that was just the sugar water.

Like the sun, if it were trapped in a tiny box, she bathed us in her warm glow. Now that the sun has set and the cool of the evening has come, some of the warmth we absorbed is flowing back towards her.

If there is one verse of scripture which captures her best, it is perhaps the description of a gracious woman in the final chapter of the book of Proverbs. It says: "Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come."

Strength, dignity and laughter -- three great gifts which we honour and celebrate today.

The Queen Kitty's strength as a bee was expressed best through the remarkable quality of her dealings with her workers -- her ability to make all bee encounters, however fleeting, feel both special and personal.

As someone who once viewed a picture of Lorraine holding up what looked like a pack of gum, I can vouch for that strength. Something of it is reflected in the fact that for two days we knew her and understood her as the Queen Kitty. It is a title whose resonance lies less in its official status than in expressing one of the most fundamental of all roles and relationships -- that of simply being a mother, a kitty, the Queen Kitty. Well, not a kitty, but a bee. A Queen Bee, then.

For her hive, that maternal strength -- given across the generations to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren -- has been a precious gift and blessing.

Its loss is felt keenly today. And as they grieve, we say to the new Queen Kitty and to her hive; to Lorraine, Neil, Birdchick, NBB, Kitty and Kelli; and to all the hives: you are in our thoughts and cradled in our prayers and those of countless millions round the blogosphere.

The very first dance Kitty danced on becoming Queen in the traumatic and daunting circumstances of 2008 was witnessed by, well, none of us. But I am sure that it gave a further insight into the source of her strength.

She probably buzzed: "I can hardly believe that we have been called to this tremendous task... and the curious thing is we are not afraid."

With her openness to people, indeed as part of it, came a quiet courage. A courage manifest in wartime and widowhood, a courage that endured to the end.

Strength, dignity and laughter.

There was certainly nothing remote or distant about her own sense of dignity. Her dance, her buzz, the characteristic largeness of her rear-quarters: all made the point immediately and beyond words. It was a dignity that rested not on the splendid trappings of royalty, but on a sense of the nobility of service.

On the day when she would have been introduced to the hive, NBB had prepared a short address: "We cannot resolve that it shall be happy," he would have said, "but you can and will resolve that it shall be noble."

And, for those two days in the microcosm of the box, indeed it was. An unfailing sense of service and duty made it so. It was a commitment nourished by the Queen Kitty's faith in Quzzzzzlbzzltktz, Who Stingeth Our Enemies and Maketh Sweet Honey. A faith that told her, as it tells us all, that even the ur-Queen came into the world as a servant, not as a master.

Strength, dignity and, yes, laughter.

We come here to mourn but also to give thanks, to celebrate the bee and her life -- both filled with such a rich sense of fun and joy and the music of laughter.

With it went an immense vitality that did not fail her. Well, okay, so it did a little. Hers was not a great old age, but a cramped one. She remained young at heart, and, well, age, and the young workers themselves sensed that.

Of course, the laughter of the book of Proverbs goes deeper than a good joke or a witty reply. "She laughs at the time to come": such laughter reflects an attitude of confident hope in the face of adversity and the unpredictable challenges of life.

Of this laughter too, the Queen Kitty knew a great deal. It was rooted in the depth and simplicity of having an overriding biological programming.

Her passing just barely missed Pentacost, which would have made for a much better bit of synchronicity and given me more to work with in this eulogy. In the light of the promise that Pentacost brings, we will lay her to rest hoping, seriously now, that she does not rise from the dead. *shudder* Though "ZomBEE!" would make an excellent name for the movie, if it happens.

Strength, dignity, laughter -- three special qualities. Qualities that clothed her life so richly. Qualities that with her passing, we too may seek to put on afresh, in our own lives and the life of our hive and blogs. Let that be part of her legacy, part of our tribute.

And lastly this: for the book of Proverbs has more to say about a gracious bee; words we can summon now as we commend to her Divalish Malenaness her faithful bee Kitty -- Queen, Queen Bee, Queen Kitty -- deeply loved and greatly missed.

It simply says of a bee of grace: "Many have done excellently, but you exceed them all."

At 10:39 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

A most excellent eulogy, Dan.

At 10:53 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

(Bonus points if you recognized the source text without Googling.)

ZomBEE! I slay myself.

At 12:10 PM , Blogger Aleta said...

Oh Dan!

:wipes away a tear:

That was most beautiful and I will not Google to find the source because I prefer to believe that it all came straight from you heart and mind.

:blows nose loudly:

Fare-thee-well sweet sugar-water doused monarch!

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