The Sacred Bee, Hilda M. Ransome (1937)

First published: 1937.
Library copy published: 2004.

The Sacred Bee, Hilda M. Ransome

“Of bees especially the proverb holds good, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” p. 19

“Seneca, the tutor and counsellor of Nero, gives an interesting account of the similarity between the bee-state and the human monarchy: It is really nature who invented the monarchy, as can be seen among social animals, especially the bees. The king is ere lodged in the most spacious cell, he is placed in the centre, the most secure spot; then he, freed from all work himself, surveys the labour of the others, and if anything happens to him, the whole hive is disorganised; the unity of power is the absolute rule, and in case of competition, a fight serves to discover the most worthy. … but the king himself has no sting. Nature did not wish him to be cruel, nor exercise a vengeance which might be dearly paid for, she deprived him of his sting and left his anger unarmed.” p. 86

“It is strange to think that this was written about Nero in his youth, the tyrant who afterwards commanded Seneca to commit suicide!” p. 86