The hive is swarming with activity, every cubicle buzzing. Phones ringing, being answered, voices intermingling across the huge room, above the partitions. A sonorous murmuring meant to sound like efficiency, like productivity. The fluorescent lights overhead flicker, then glare again.  The Manager stands in the doorway, smiling. The hum and bustle, the bright lights, the busyness all around make her feel alive, needed, fertile. She flutters down the narrow path between the cells and listens to the music of the office, watches the panoply of life imitating life.

“All estimates due by closing time today!” Veronica directs her Zoom attendees, brisk and bossy as always.

Amy balances two phones, one bright red. “Hold on, Ronda. Kate’s on the hot line.”

“We closed on the Wildflower account,” Brenda exclaims, as the Manager reaches her cubicle. “Congratulations!” Brenda is one of her best workers.

Greg hears the Manager coming and quickly switches his computer screen from a video game to a complex spreadsheet. She rolls her eyes, but says nothing. What can you expect from a drone?

She completes her daily rounds, heading back to her inner sanctum, when she notices the transparent pipe leading from each cubicle to her office filling slowly with a thick liquid. Today’s profits!  She rushes to place jar after jar under the viscous outpouring. She dictates a memo to her AI device. “Order more jars.”  When the flow subsides for the day, at five o’clock on the dot, she opens the nearest jar, dips a spoon in and tastes. Delicious!  One of the best harvests yet.

She detects clover, rush hours, orange blossom, impossible deadlines, neglected families, sourwood.  An exquisite blend of country and city, natural and unnatural, simple and cutting edge. Her workers have outdone themselves. She watches them file out of the exits like sleepwalkers. Then she cuts generous slabs of bread, slathers each slice with fragrant, golden honey, and wolfs down her evening feast. Moving toward the door, her compound eyes scanning rows of dark amber, her wings briefly glowing in the half-light of dusk, she extinguishes the lights, and heads for home.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
11 months ago

Hello, Julie. Is La dolce vita 3 an achievement of the bee farm? Or is it just a story that Sophie made up? Anyway. Whatever it is, I want to let you know that you have done well. I was so carried away by the story especially when I looked at your picture of the honey placed in the jar. That picture made me smile and makes me think that they succeeded on their plan. Nicely done. I love it.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Julie Harris
11 months ago

I see, Julie. Sorry for the late response. Electricity and internet connection have recently returned due to typhoon Odette that hit us.

Last edited 11 months ago by Lotchie Carmelo
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Chris
Chris(@chris)
Reply to  Lotchie Carmelo
11 months ago

Hi Lotchie – I saw the recent news on this typhoon you mentioned above: “Electricity and internet connection have recently returned due to typhoon Odette that hit us”.

Hope you and your family are safe, and we will pray for a swift recovery from all the storm damage.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Chris
11 months ago

Hello, Chris. Thank you so much for your prayers and concern. I thank God that my entire family is safe and alive after the severe flooding and super strong winds caused by Typhoon Odette. God is good. He will never forsake us.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Julie Harris
11 months ago

Hello, Julie. The Voice club and all of you who are members here are also tremendous blessings for me. Thank you for the tender care and worry for me.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
11 months ago

Wow, Julie! What a wonderful tale of what seems to be at the same time a busy, successful office and an equally busy beehive, bustling with activities while producing honey!
One of the ideas in the second part was that Liam would build beehives and become a beekeeper, and here it seems as though he did and that it became a successful business project.
Maybe this third part of the story could be interpreted as Sophie remembering her old, stressful, artificial office job one day while she was looking down into the beehive with a lot of natural, life-giving, productive activities. Just like she used to be a manager, taking a lot of responsibility, the bee-queen is now in the center of the honey production inside the hive. They have something in common and in this dreamlike fairytale, their lives merge. (I love the Manager’s/Queen’s irritated observation, “What can you expect from a drone?”)
A great and fun story! Was this also part of your life, Julie? Did beekeeping become a successful activity for you in your new life?

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Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
11 months ago

I absolutely love this blend of office work and the activities of a hive Julie! Beautifully written, I can envision both circumstances easily!

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