the returning sting
Only after a few months did all the details of the pillaging and pilfering done by the neighbors come to light, but my father doesn’t list the details. After they had emptied the house and the attic and the barn, they finally got to the bees. All they wanted was honey, even if there was not much, just enough to help the bees survive the winter. They opened the hives and shook the bees off the frames. The bees were helpless: this was late October, it was cold, and they couldn’t fly or sting. They dropped to the ground in absolute silence: no buzz, no life; they all died that night. When the family returned home, my father saw a mushy pile of rotting bees. Before they died, they crawled closer together to keep warm.
Aleksandar Hemon, from ‘The Bees, Part 1’ in Love and Other Obstacles
passage found by even cleveland.
returning again and again to this mind image.
and this: honey and a bee sting to cure illness