When the keeper has died,whose hands have touched so much honey,
the village will convene to elect a successor and to remember
the sweetness of his voice, his dependable hymns, the spell of smoke
and the hush just after. While the elders resist the old rhythms
of grief, one will speak of the ancient belief -- that the bee-father's demise,
kept secret, could cause the death of the hives in the coming winter.
Then the question will rise in a nervous murmur: Who will tell the bees?
(found via Andrew Sullivan)