Bee Home By (January) Eleven

I set me a trap for to catch me some bees,
And I put out a sign that said, "Right this way, please!
Here's a nice little place, if you're tired or you're poor
And been told to buzz off from your old teeming shore;
Here your whole huddled mass can come in and breathe free—
—Then work hard and make lots of honey for me!"

Well, I caught me a swarm—ones with little stripes on 'em—
Yes, I caught 'em all right—in a place I don't want 'em.
They buzzer(d)s have settled right down in my eaves,
Along with the must and the mildew and leaves,
'Neath shingles and siding and other such stuff—
You'd think that they'd hard-i-ly have room enough.

But here they have landed, and planned-ed to stay—
And I've no great desire to get in their way.
Yes, here they have roosted, and started to lay—
And I am too chicken to scare them away.
So there they will live right the whole winter through,
And come springtime, they'll start in to do what they do.

If they MAKE it to springtime, these varmints vernaculous,
If they MAKE it to spring—'twill be purely miraculous…

Cuz a swarm in the springtime, they say, will do well;
A swarm in the summer, time only will tell;
But gosh!—heaven help those that swarm in the fall—
The length of the season gives no hope at all
That they'll do enough building and buzzing and breeding
And make honey to feed all those mouths that need feeding.

So I doubt they'll survive—spring will find them all dead,
'Less they find their way in to keep warm in my bed!
But I think…time it hits January Eleven,
These bees will have died and gone straight to bee heaven,
Where maybe the Hive is a City Foursquare,
Where the combs are of gold, and they'll all be queens there.

But for now, I can tell you, I'm getting a spray
That will kill any worker that happens to stray
To inside of my house, where it might get to thinking
That this is a good place to try out its sting-thing.
No, that's not a thing that I want it to do,
So I put up a sign that says, "Little Bees, SHOO!"—
And I hope they're all "gone" when the winter is through.

                                    —The Swarm's Guest
                                              (a.k.a. Dr. Stung)

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